The Social Dialogue Forum’s eleventh version, titled “Labor Market in the Light of Corona Pandemic – Effects and Solutions”, was launched today in Saudi capital of Riyadh, and was attended by His Excellency the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development in Saudi Arabia, Eng. Ahmed bin Sulaiman Al-Rajhi. The Forum brings together high-level representatives from the International Labor Organization, as well as other distinguished officials.
The Forum focuses on the key challenges that faced the Saudi labor market during the pandemic. It also shed light on the impact of pandemic on the Saudi labor market, the effects of governmental policies on labor market, and the labor market’s future aspirations in post-pandemic world.
His Excellency, Minister Ahmed Al-Rajhi praised the great support provided by Saudi government, which helped to attain notable balance in the labor market, protect labors’ jobs and support the organizations affected by pandemic repercussions, including the private and non-profit organizations. The Minister touched on the initiatives and solutions launched by the ministry to support business growth and protect citizens’ jobs during the pandemic.
H.E. Dr. Abdullah Abuthnain, Deputy Minister of Human Resources and Social Development in Saudi Arabia stated: “Reflecting its responsibility and concern about human health, the Kingdom took an initiative focused on the health care of citizens, Residence; irrespective of their legal status by increasing the health services budget to SR47 billion. Aimed at mitigating the pandemic impact on Kingdom economics, the government attained various initiatives and economic stimulus measures, including support, exemption and speeding up the payment of private sector dues, offering 60% of salaries to private sector’s affected citizens, allowing business owners to postpone paying the due value-added taxes for 3 months, as well as providing support packages to SMEs. Ministry of Finance estimated the total economic support packages provided to confront the pandemic as SR177 billion.
Through Social Dialogue, the ministry seeks to form a mutual vision and strengthen an internationally recognized mechanism to realize practical and applicable decisions on labor market issues that may serve the social dialogue and tripartism (government, employers, and workers), and enhance the continuity of effective cooperation between the 3 production parties.