Car rental offices in Saudi Arabia have reportedly called on the country’s labour ministry to give them sufficient time to prepare for the Saudisation of the sector.
Last week, the country’s Ministry of Labour and Social Development announced that all jobs at car rental firms would be restricted to Saudi nationals without giving a deadline.
A similar move covering the kingdom’s mobile shop industry last year gave owners just three months to ensure 50 per cent of their workers were Saudi and six months to ensure 100 per cent were Saudi.
This resulted in the emergence of an expat phone repair black market and the closure of many establishments, which were either shut down by inspectors or left the industry due to profitability concerns.
The ministry has urged car rental stakeholders to submit suggestions for the implementation of Saudisation in the sector, under plans to create 200,000 full and part-time jobs in public transport over the next three years.
Saudi Gazette cited Mohammad Al-Sudais, general manager of Sudais Cars, as saying investors required at least a year to formulate working hours, vacation times and salary structure for Saudi staff, who would require higher pay than foreign workers.
He also called for the government to pay part of the salaries for Saudi workers for the first three years, training courses for Saudis seeking work in the sector and new regulation making workers liable to pay compensation if they quit their jobs without justification