saudi arabia

Public sector loses 11 days of salary after calendar switch in Saudi Arabia

Switch from Hijri calendar to Gregorian calendar costs employees 11 days of pay a year

12:38 September 28, 2016

Manama: Under a new decision to base public sector salaries on the Gregorian calender, employees will lose 11 days of payment, Saudi news site Sabq reported on Wednesday.

The decision to switch from the lunar-based Hijri calendar will take effect from October 1 and will bring the public sector in line with how private sector employees are paid.

The Hijri calendar is made up of 12 months of 29 or 30 days depending on the sighting of the moon, and the year is usually 354 days, 11 days shorter than the Gregorian calendar.

The change is part of a host of finance-related decisions announced by the Saudi government on Monday following the weekly cabinet session chaired by King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz.

At its meeting, the cabinet decided to curb some financial perks for public sector employees. The decision comes within a new policy to rein in lavish public spending.

The salaries of ministers will be cut by 20 per cent while Shura Council members will receive 15 per cent less.

No annual bonus will be given for the next Islamic year, due to start on October 2, and the renewal or extension of existing contracts will not include any salary increases.

The employees will have their bonuses, allowances and financial perks cancelled, amended or suspended according to their categories, the government added.

Annual holidays for ministers will also be reduced from 42 to 36 days.

Under the new rules, public sector employees will not receive transport allowance during their holidays and if they do not use their 60 off days during the year, they lose them.

The financial reductions will be applied to all public sector employees regardless of their nationalities, and to the military.

Government agencies have been given 60 days to amend their statutes to ensure full compliance with the new decree.