900 Lashes to the Manager for forcing a worker to shave his Beard in KSA

Everyone has some basic rights, which he is entitled to be given. Employees also have some rights which shall be practiced by the organizations. If a person is working, he gets paid for providing his/her services not for violating his/her rights.

If one employs a person, it does not mean he owns that person. However, violation of worker’s rights has been in practice for a long time. Employees do face harassment at workplace.

Harassment can be verbal, physical or emotional: whatever be the form, it does violate the worker’s right. The people in charge believe that if they are paying them, they kind of own them and therefore they can behave with them the way they like.

But it should be kept in mind that they get paid for their work. Organizations should understand that human resource is important to them. No organization can run without employees. It’s the time when we should value our human resource.

We need to protect our workers from workplace harassment and provide them with a suitable environment. This won’t only uplift them spiritually, but also would enhance their performance. This is one of the ways of creating a healthy and radiant society. 

Saudi Arabia is also on its way to protect its employee’s rights. Recently, a manager was sentenced one-year jail along with 900 lashes. According to the reports, the worker was forced to shave off his beard in front of employees.

The worker was a foreigner, holding an Asian nationality. The manager demanded to shave the beard without any reason behind it. The worker was threatened that he would be suspended if he did not fulfill the order.

One might think that there is no physical harm in shaving off a beard, the beard can grow again. The employee shall be radical and save his job. But no, it’s time to stand up for our worker’s rights. It’s his beard, his choice.

It shall be his decision to grow it or shave it off. Why shall the manager be concerned about it? He shall only be concerned with services the worker is providing. He can punish him, only per law, if he does not provide services properly.

The court has taken up a good decision: charging the manager for imposing psychological harms to the worker. The worker is selling his services, not his body. The manager had no right to put up such a demand and then threaten him. 

Saudi Arabia is one of those states that need foreign workers especially for blue-collar jobs that do not attract the locals. We can only attract the foreign workers when we will be providing them with their rights as well.

We not only need these workers, but we need to protect these workers from all sorts of harassment and discrimination.  The stance taken by the Saudi court has set up an amazing example.

We need to take radical decisions to create an enabling environment where workers can work without mental and physical torture.

Source: Gulf News

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Steve has been living in Saudi Arabia since 2013 and writing about Saudi rules, regulations, guides, and procedures since then.