International Women’s Day. “I support and empower the Kingdom, and women are half of the Kingdom, therefore I support women” – Prince Mohammed Bin Salman in his speech about the role of women within the vision of 2030. Since the time of this vision’s launch, every step towards that goal gave Saudi Women endless opportunities in different fields, marking great achievements and appointing women in leading roles. All the changes and development in said actions, made the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the second year in a row move forward in the released report by the World Bank “Women, Business and the Law 2021” which aims to compare the level of discrimination in the gender systems, in the field of economic development and entrepreneurship among (190) countries. This progress is due to a number of reforms that eased the way for women's participation in economic development, most notably: non-discrimination in work between men and women, equal retirement age between men and women, allowing women to work in many new sectors, and encouraging and supporting women to head leadership positions.
The Kingdom as the Headquarters of Foreign Companies.
Reaching to the Saudi goal of 2030 vision, the latest economic decision that by the year 2024 no foreign company will be able to go into business with a government entity in the kingdom if they do not have a Regional Headquarter in Saudi. Taking into consideration all the positive impact that this move will have on the national economy, in addition to providing endless working opportunities within the current Saudization plan.
Ministry of Justice started to activate E-litigation
In line with Saudi Vision 2030 and In order to enhance the services for the beneficiaries inside the Kingdom, the Ministry of Justice started to activate E-litigation by introducing a new service that enables users from lawsuit parties and lawyers to complete their litigation requests through Nagiz platform where the parties to the case dispense of visiting judicial offices and it enable them to exchange notes and responses to the questions of the judicial department and due to Coved-19 the process of setting up e-litigation speed up to ensure the continuity of remote work and developing the performance and raise the quality of litigation efficiency in the Kingdom The new commercial regulations set out all the procedures of e-litigation and remote pleading, which ensures rapid settlement of disputes, strengthening commercial environment and contribute to attract new investment to the Kingdom.
The Launch of a Draft Amendment to the Advocacy Law
The Saudi Lawyers Authority has launched a draft within the project to amend the Advocacy Law, which discusses changes that include restricting pleading to lawyers, registering non-Saudi consultants, and licensing foreign law firms, where the Authority aims to develop the legal profession and enhance competition in it, as well as seeking to obtain the confidence of the foreign investor by enabling him to hire his foreign lawyer, and specifying the responsibilities of Saudi and foreign law firms in a way that is in line with the interest of the state and achieving its national goals. Therefore, it was proposed to add a fifth chapter that aims to regulate the licensing of foreign law firms to practice the legal profession, and the proposed section details the practice of foreign law firms, licensing terms and details, alliance agreements with Saudi law firms, and the obligations of the foreign law firm with the means of oversight and violations that apply to it. If the proposed draft succeeds, it will be subject to a final study to evaluate the project and supporting documents, and a formal amendment to the Saudi Advocacy Law will take place.
The Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) approved the new formation of the Supreme Court and the establishment of two commercial courts. The SJC decisions included the following:
The Ministry of Human Resources and Development issued a decision to regulate the contractual relationship between workers and employers, in order to control the repercussions of the new COVID 19 virus. Also, during the next six months, the Ministry provided precautionary measures to reduce work, in order to avoid aggravating situations or circumstances, including the description of force majeure, which may divert the fulfillment of the obligations contained in the labor system and its regulations. The employer may reach an agreement with the employee to reduce the employee’s wages in proportion to the actual working hours, or he may give the employee a paid leave which is counted as the employee’s annual leave or granting the employee an exceptional leave during the time of the pandemic. The employer will have no right to terminate the employment contract if it was proven that he was benefited from the compensation issued to face this pandemic. Companies were also allowed to benefit and take advantage of the temporary surplus of expat employees services through the “AJEER” online portal as an alternative to external recruitment in these difficult times.
The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud issued a royal decree exempts Saudis working in the affected private sector facilities from Articles 8 which relates to the acquittal or conciliation settlements arising during the work duration for the employee article 10 which regulates the calculation of duration's according to the Hijri calendar,and article 14 which was deleted and merged with article 13 of the same regulation which relates to the internal regulations of the companies of the private sector. of the unemployment insurance (Sand) scheme. Employees going to be given a monthly compensation of 60% of the registered wage in social insurance for three months with a maximum of 9,000 SR monthly. The compensation is valued at 9 billion SAR, and the numbers of beneficiary of said compensation is estimated to be 1.2 million Saudi employees, where the compensation shall covers 100% of the number of Saudi workers in small establishments consisting of 5 workers or less, and it could reaches 70% in establishments where the number of employees exceeds 5 employees. The employers cannot force the employees to work during the compensation period.