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June 30, 2012

Saudi cosmetic, lingerie shops will be manned only by saleswomen

Dubai:Only women are going to be employed in cosmetics and perfume shops across Saudi Arabia from now on. The move, which comes as part of the second phase of a plan by the Ministry of Labour to employ only women in retail shops, is expected to provide thousands of job opportunities for women in the age range of 18 up to 60 years old. The measure covers all types of shops that are located in shopping malls and souks. “Women are more familiar with cosmetics than men. They know more of types and colours of skin,” Gulf News quoted Masha’al Al Shamari, head of the communication centre at the Saudi labour ministry as saying. “Women will be dealing with women. They would feel more comfortable than dealing with men, especially when they are buying lingerie,” she said in reference to the six-month-old regulation requiring lingerie shops to hire only women employees. Employers have two options ahead of implementing the new regulations for cosmetics and perfumes shop, she said. “First, the owner of the business could hire women employees through the Human Resources Development Fund, which in this case will pay half of the employee salary. And the second option is to advertise for job vacancies in different advertisement means,” Shamari said . The minimum wage that has been set by the Ministry of Labour is 3,000 riyal per month. In case an employee has been hired through the HRD Fund, 50 percent of her salary will be paid for by the fund for three years. Prior to the implementation of the new regulations, several initiatives has been implemented to train the women who are seeking employment in cosmetic and perfume shops. As the new regulation comes into effect, the labour ministry will be carrying out inspections. “Shops that don’t abide with the new laws will be punished by stopping all services provided by the Ministry of Labour,” Shamari said. These services include issuing license and working permits to the employees. The ministry had also warned employers against producing fraudulent contacts and false hiring. The punishment will also be applied on “fake” women employees. According to reports, Saudi authorities carried inspections visits to nearly 7,300 lingerie shops across the country after these places had been declared off limits to male employees in January 5, 2012. The labour ministry’s estimates that the initiative is expected to create job opportunities for nearly 44,000 women. Experts said that within the next two to three years, hiring females in women retails shops will offer nearly 500, 000 job opportunities.

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