Saudi workers deserve more than 5% pay rise – official

The president of the kingdom’s union of labour committees has argued Saudi workers deserve a significant pay rise

Saudi workers deserve more than the 5 per cent pay rise given to them last year, an official has been quoted as saying.

The president of the kingdom’s union of labour committees Nidal Radwan told Arab News that the increase was a positive indicator but “still far from what we are looking for and what Saudi workers deserve”.

He was commenting in an article that suggested private sector salaries in the kingdom could increase by 20 to 30 per cent in the next five years, due to the privatisation of parts of the public sector under the Vision 2030 plan.

Arab News cited economist Abdullah Al-Maghlouth as saying the entrance of large foreign firms in retail, technology, tourism and entertainment would boost salaries for locals as they were mandated to employ them under Saudisation rules.

This would also result in a forced increase in average salaries at small and medium sized companies, he said.

However, Radwan argued that the entrance of foreign companies would not necessarily translate into an increase in Saudi salaries.

He said a dramatic increase in the number of Saudi workers in the private sector would only occur if policies including a minimum wage were introduced and limits were set on the number of expats a company could recruit.