Force private sector companies to increase salaries for Saudis


Okaz newspaper

There should be greater coordination between the private and government sectors so that there can be a level playing field as far as employee benefits are concerned. For too long, government jobs have offered greater benefits compared to the majority of private sector jobs, which results in greater satisfaction among public sector employees. For starters, the private sector should work in parallel with the government sector to provide basic benefits that are granted to most public sector employees. Programs that help employees adapt to increasing expenses or necessary national reform steps should be given the utmost importance.

The country is for all citizens, but banks, companies and for-profit institutions have gotten used to benefiting from the hard work of employees while giving back very little, leaving many employees struggling to provide for themselves and to deal with the increasing costs of living. The individual initiatives of some companies and institutions are insufficient and many are making matters worse. Instead of leaving it to individual initiatives, a mechanism must be put in place to force the private sector to increase salaries and grant its employees the same privileges public sector employees receive. If the private sector is unwilling to step up, perhaps the government should give grants to private sector employees and be reimbursed by taxing the company. Call it whatever you want, but in my eyes such a tax should correspond to the generosity the country shows companies. Such a move is the government’s right because it would be for the greater benefit of society just like the government move to commit to Saudization rates.

Unless we do this, we will continue to see university graduates insisting on getting government jobs in addition to the mass migration from private to public sector companies. We can no longer accept the lame argument given by the private sector that citizens do not want to work while they continue to hire cheap expat labor. What we need is a sector that invests in citizens without asking for something in return and companies and institutions that are abreast of the plans and ambitions of the nation.