Saudi: Workplace Anti-Harassment Rules To Be In Force Soon

Minister of Labor and Social Development Ahmed Al-Rajhi has approved the regulations that are aimed to protect individual’s dignity, privacy and personal freedom at workplace, which will come into force from Oct. 20.

Khalid Abal-Khail, spokesman of the Ministry of Labor and Social Development, said that the decision tends to improve the workplace environment, making it attractive to male and female jobseekers, and protect the rights of workers.

“The issuance of these regulations are in line with the executive regulations of the Labor Law and the decision of the Council of Ministers to combat the crime of harassment as well as with some international conventions and global practices on the elimination of workplace harassment,” he said

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He noted that the regulations are also the product of revision of some rules and regulations following deliberations at workshops with participation of specialists from various private sector entities.

Abal-Khail said the minister’s decision includes the definition of protection from workplace harassment and the general protection measures that must be taken by firms as well as the measures taken by the committee to investigate into workplace harassment cases.

The minister’s decision also includes model guidelines that will help firms and employees to facilitate implementing the new regulations.

The spokesman said harassment includes all practices of abuse by one party against the other.

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It aims to protect individuals from words, acts, implicit behavior or innuendo of a sexual nature by one individual against another targeting that individual’s body, modesty or personal life.

Causing physical, psychological, sexual or economic harm to another party comes in the purview of harassment.

It constitutes all forms of exploitation or threat, extortion, enticement, quarreling, cursing or insult or prejudice modesty or deliberately secluding with the opposite sex or any form of physical or verbal discrimination.

The regulations also include misconduct among employees either during work hours or outside work hours.

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