By Fatou Saho
The Minister of Trade and Employment Baboucarr O. Joof has said the labour agreement between Saudi Arabia and Gambia which was signed in 2023 will ensure dignity of the workers.
Highlighting the agreement, the minister further stated: “No Gambian will work for more than eight hours without being paid overtime. No Gambian will work for 12 months, they will work for 11 months and have one month holiday. Every Gambian will have a pay leave and your employer in Saudi will pay for your vacation to visit your family in the Gambia. Every Gambian in contract with Saudi must be paid before the end of the month otherwise the agency that licensed that employer will have its license revoked by the Saudi authority”.
However, Minister Joof stated that there is no current framework for the government to be involved in the actual labour agreement. “In the new Labour Act, there is decent work and it is pronounced for us to ensure that Gambians at home and abroad are working in environments that are stress free. What the agreement does is that, in advance of anyone going, we as the government, and the Government of Saudi agree on how you are going to work and that will reflect the laws of The Gambia and Saudi,” he said.
He had also emphasised that the Gambia government is trying to address the complaints of others who have found their way to Saudi without government’s involvement and are now complaining.