OPINION: Why Like Schools We Need To Get ‘Rain Days’ In Saudi
The past three months have seen sporadic showers all around the country. Every so often the dark clouds come just to scare us but at other times they wreak havoc unleashing heavy rains on our not so rain-proof city infrastructure.
A Saudi Gazette article from over a month ago states that 35 people have been killed due to rain and flood-related accidents across the country. While most of these happened in valleys and the government is continually sending SMSs to warn us, there is still room for improvement especially on how companies develop rain-related policies to safeguard its employees.
While the Ministry of Education takes several precautions for school children by announcing days off depending on the impending weather, the working class on the other hand often are left in limbo.
— إدارة تعليم جدة (@JeddahEducation) November 20, 2017
Many local companies don’t even have a policy in place for rain or flood-related situations and many a time even as heavy rains lash on employees wait for formal approval from their top management giving them a permit for leaving early/arriving late.
— Aiman khosa (@Aimenkhosa) November 21, 2017
What companies can do?
Companies need to come up with a standard set of guidelines that they follow in case of rains.
I’m not saying that they have to give a complete day off just because of a few showers early in the morning, all I’m saying is that companies need to develop policies of allowing flexible working hours on rainy days.
These policies can also include priorities to female employees allowing them to leave early/work from home options if need be. This is something that a lot of multinationals have taken up lately.
Like other countries that have snow days, we could surely do with a ‘rain day’ here in Saudi.