News Coronavirus watch06 Jul 2020

Saudi Arabia:Unemployment insurance scheme extends initiatives to aid private sector

| 06 Jul 2020


Saudi Arabia's unemployment insurance scheme (SANED) will cover 70% of workers in the coming period in the most affected firms and a maximum of 50% of Saudi workers in the least affected establishments, said media reports citing minister of finance, acting minister of economy and planning Mohammed Al-Jadaan.

The details of the support period, eligibility criteria, application mechanism, eligible activities and amount of support for these private sector enterprises that have been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak will be announced around mid-July.

Mr Al-Jadaan, who is also the chairman of the board of directors of the General Organization for Social Insurance (GOSI), said the approval to extend the initiatives to support Saudi workers in the private sector enterprises impacted by the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic for an additional period through SANED was granted following a report submitted by the committee set up by royal order.

 

The committee includes representatives from the Ministries of Finance, Economy and Planning, Human Resources and Social Development and the GOSI. The committee saw the need to continue the support for an additional period, according to a report carried by Al-Eqtisadiah newspaper.

He disclosed that the initiative of the GOSI through the SANED has contributed to mitigating the impact of the coronavirus crisis on private sector companies and firms, as employers were exempted from the obligation to pay the monthly salaries/wages to their employees.

The employers were also exempted from paying insurance contributions for all subscribers, benefitting from this support. This resulted in a drop by more than 10% in the number of private sector workers excluded during 1H2020, compared to the number of those excluded during the same period last year.

Mr Al-Jadaan stressed that the support helped mitigate the economic impact on the labour market and its Saudisation and growth by finding alternative solutions that contributed to preventing workers from losing their jobs and providing those who lost their jobs with an alternative income.

The support targeted all firms in the private sector that were unable to pay Saudi workers their salaries due to the repercussions of this crisis as well as enabled these organisations to resume their operations easily.  

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