Expats not allowed to work in optical stores…the news has come as a shocker to many of our optician friends from various countries who are currently working in optical stores across Saudi Arabia
The Ministry of Labour and Social Development announced its decision to stop expats from working in 12 different businesses which also includes optical stores. The decision comes into effect from the next Hijri year but it is likely to bother many optical stores, from this year itself.
The optical industry in the Middle East has evolved considerably, over the last few years. Expats have contributed to the growth and evolution of the trade. However, before arriving to random conclusions, it is important to evaluate all aspects of the Ministry’s decision. One of the biggest reasons that is likely to have pushed the Ministry towards taking a stern decision could be the growing demand localization of the industries in the region.
The impact on optical trade
So, what is localization and why is the Ministry pushing for it? Very simply, localization is the process of creating more jobs for the locals before accommodating expats. However, in the process, the expats in the region are likely to take a hit. If the rule does lead to many people being forced out of their job, even business owners may have to suffer. After all, getting new people on the job would mean training them from the start. This would indirectly lead to investing more time, more money and more effort to get the same job done.
Before we delve deeper, it is important to understand that there are more aspects to the rule declared by the government. So, while the government is encouraging job opportunities for localities, it also acknowledges the contributions of expats. Business owners can consider employing expats if the local populace does not have the desired skill set.