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HRDF sets 3-year limit for women transport service
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 09 - 02 - 2019


Okaz/Saudi Gazette
JEDDAH – Many Saudi women employees have criticized the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF)'s condition that they should have been registered with the General Organization of Social Insurance (GOSI) for less than 36 months in order to benefit from Wusool, the transportation program for female employees.
Ministry of Labor and Social Development spokesman Khalid Aba Al-Khail said the 36-month period was important for a female worker to ensure job stability and the purpose of the Wusool program was to enable female workers to retain their jobs in the private sector.
Around 1 million rides to and from work were carried out by the Wusool Program last year, benefiting 2,851 female workers, according to the HRDF.
The requirements pertaining to the registration in the Wusool program have been amended to ensure that females employed for more than three years do not use the service. Also, the monthly salary of the employee registered in the GOSI should not exceed SR8,000 in order to benefit from the program, according to HRDF.
It said several amendments had been made to the monthly financial support, which was at 80 percent of the cost or a maximum amount of SR800. The duration of the support has been increased to 12 months.
The female employees were angry because the HRDF allowed only those who had spent less than 36 months in a job to benefit from the program.
Some of the women with more than 36 months of work history have circumvented the condition by registering their siblings or relatives in the GOSI and using the service in their name.
One of the employees, who requested anonymity, says she has been working for a company for four years now and has registered her sister, who has just been employed, in the GOSI so that she can benefit from the Wusool program.
Dr. Amal Shirah, human resources consultant, said the GOSI registration period and the salary limit do not support the empowerment of women.
"The Wusool program is excellent but it is restricted to female employees with less than three years of service. It is a little bit frustrating for others with longer work duration. A third of an employee's salary goes into the transportation cost, so the program is important for empowering women employees," she said.
Shirah called upon the HRDF to cancel the three-month registration requirement with GOSI and allow all female workers to benefit from the Wusool Program regardless of when they started their employment.
Employees circumvent rule by registering relatives with GOSI


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