Saudi malls required to provide child care facilities

Cairo: Saudi authorities have said they will start enforcing a decree in May requiring malls to provide child care centres as part of efforts to encourage women workers.

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The Ministry of Municipal and Village Affairs and Housing has set May 3 for starting enforcing the decree that apply to malls, which are 40,000 square metres or above, Saudi media reported.

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The ministry urged owners of such malls to swiftly readjust their status, warning that non-compliance will be deemed a punishable violation. No specific penalties were spelt out.

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Labour market

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“The aim of this new condition is to enable women to enter the labour market and provide a proper work environment for them as availability of child-hosting centres at commercial centres will help remove obstacles to mothers working in them,” the ministry added in a statement.

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The move is part of cooperation between government agencies and the provide sector in Saudi Arabia to serve society.

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Last November, the ministry gave malls a six-month deadline to comply with the new requirement and set up child care centres of at least 50 square metres each. Malls dealing in men’s goods are exempted from the stipulation.

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