OK’d: 10-week paid maternity leave after 3 years of job

Saudi women leave the emergency department at a hospital in the center of the Saudi capital Riyadh, in this April 8, 2014 photo.

Saudi women leave the emergency department at a hospital in the center of the Saudi capital Riyadh, in this April 8, 2014 photo.

Working mothers in the private sector are now entitled to a fully paid maternity leave for a period of 10 weeks — four weeks prior to the date of delivery and six weeks following it.

However, this provision only applies to those who have completed three years of service.

A source in the Labor Ministry said the employees who have completed only one year of service would receive half-wage during maternity leave. They will also receive half-wage during the annual leave, he added.

Female employees who have already benefited from the paid maternity leave would not be entitled to the fully paid annual leave, even if they have completed three years of service, the source said.

According to the source, the delivery date must be determined by the company’s doctor, or by an authenticated medical certificate from a health official. In addition, women should not work during the six weeks following the date of delivery.

The ministerial decision comes in the light of recent reports that indicate the growing number of Saudi women working in the private sector.

According to the reports, the number of Saudi women employees has risen substantially in the past three years from about 55,618 in 2010, to 99,486 in 2011 and 215,840 in 2012.

The proportion of female employees in the private sector stood at 2.7% of the total number of private sector employees in 2011 and 2012, while the percentage of Saudi female employees amounted to 11.6% of the total number of Saudi private sector employees in 2012.

 
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