The Saudi Ministry of Labour and Social Development has issued guidance on relations between workers and private business owners during the coronavirus pandemic.
It allows private businesses to reduce working hours and cut employees’ wages during the next six months only while taking into account their daily or weekly working hours. The wages shall not be reduced by more than 40 percent of the total salary.
After six months, business owners must return to paying full wages to their employees.
Employees do not have the right to object the reduction as long as it does not exceed the agreed 40 percent.
The law also allows business owners the right to approve the timings of their employees’ annual leave depending on work conditions.
It also allows employers to give their employees their annual leave at the same time or alternately.
Wages during annual leave will be paid at the rate before any reduction.
Employees have the right to seek unpaid leave if the business owner approves.
Employers given the right to use these measures are not exempt from state subsidies granted to help private sector companies crippled by the effects of the pandemic.
But they cannot terminate employment contracts under the current situation before the six months period is over.