By Fatima Al-Dibais
DAMMAM — The Shoura (Consultative) Council will review Article 77 of the Labor Law which states that employers in the private sector can terminate the contract of Saudi employees with compensation.
Council spokesman Mohammad Al-Mihanna said a committee has been formed to study the feasible solutions for the problems that Article 77 has brought about.
“The committee will look into the suggestions submitted by the general public in regards to the case and alter them appropriately. Altering Article 77 is originally the responsibility of the Committee of Social, Family and Youth Affairs, but several Shoura Council members wanted to contribute to the topic,” said Al-Mihanna.
He added that is why the Council formed a new committee dedicated to studying and rewriting Article 77.
“The committee will look into 8,000 requests of alteration and suggestions submitted by the general public. The committee will also meet with businessmen and owners of private companies. The committee will meet with all the parties affected by the article to ensure that it offers comprehensive and beneficial solutions,” said Al-Mihanna.
He added many writers and critics have demanded annulment of the entire article.
“The critics claimed that the article worked against Saudization and resulted in the firing of many Saudi employees. The Human Rights Committee at the Shoura Council received 800 requests in regards to Article 77,” said Al-Mihanna.
Writer Ghassan Badakouk said the Ministry of Labor and Social Development should suspend the implementation of Article 77 until it is further studied.
Writer Khalid Al-Sulaiman said one of the possible alterations to be made to Article 77 is raising the compensation amount so the employer would think twice before firing Saudis.
Hanan Al-Ahmadi said it is not easy for Saudis to find a job in the private sector.
“If finding a job is not easy for Saudis, losing a job should also be difficult,” said Al-Ahmadi.
Human Rights and Control Authorities Committee head Nihad Al-Jashi said the article causes injustice to citizens with low income.
Public Relations Director in Prince Sultan Medical and Military City, Ahmad Al-Faheed, said it is very important that Article 77 is to be annulled as it defies the purpose of having a contract if it allows the employer to terminate the contract at any moment.