A new law introduced by Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Labour imposes a 1,000 Saudi Riyals fine on female workers who do not cover their head at workplaces.
New labour laws introduced this week outlined that employers must specify a dress code for their female employees and failure to comply with the dress code will result in a SR5,000 fine.
“All companies must issue clear written instructions to their female workers to cover their head while in office. Erring companies will be fined SR5,000,” a report quoted a Labour Ministry official as saying, according to Arab News.
Further, the ministry also stated that female workers caught without their head cover would be fined SR1,000. Clauses in the law also prevent companies from employing minors within hazardous workplaces, such as construction sites and on conveyer belts within factories, with violators set to face a fine of SR10,000.
Afnan Kokandi, a Saudi employee who works for a private company said about the new law, “I think it is a good policy because women are going to work and not to a fashion show. As a woman, you should wear the Islamic dress and there is no need to go to work as if you are going to a wedding.”
In contrast, Noura Fuad, another Saudi who works for a private company said, “I do not like the new policy since clothes are a private and personal matter and something between a woman and God. Women should have the freedom to choose.”
Further, the law set aside a fine of SR5,000 for companies which force their female employees to work at night. Firms failing to provide separate sections for their female employees will be fined SR10,000, the law adds.
The new law has sparked a debate across social media where some are describing it as brilliant while others believe it to be unfair to women. One individual commented that in order for the law to be fair, a similar law should be imposed on salesmen who leave the upper buttons of their shirts open.
This article originally appeared on Saudi Gazette.