Saudi Arabia Switches to Gregorian Calendar for Public Payroll

Payroll for Saudi public servants is now aligned to the Gregorian calendar.

According to a recent decision by the Council of Ministers, the move was made in order to be aligned with the country’s fiscal year. On Wednesday, the Cabinet agreed to switch payroll from the Hijri calendar for the payment of salaries, bonuses and allowances for all civil sector employees.

The Gregorian Calendar is used by the majority of countries around the world as their sole civil calendar often alongside the country’s own religious calendar. The few remaining countries that are not using the Gregorian Calendar include Ethiopia (Ethiopian calendar), Iran and Afghanistan, both of which use the Persian calendar.

The decision to switch from the lunar-based Hijri calendar to the solar-based Gregorian calendar was effective on 1st October and brought the government sector in line with the payment of wages in the private sector.

Concerns were raised about the banking network’s ability to cover all cash withdrawals on the first day that salaries are paid. Due to this being an unprecedented situation in the history of the country and it will also coincide with the date of deposit of the salaries of private sector employees.

However, a financial analyst at Bank Albilad, Turki Fadaak, reassured the public of the banking system and its ability to deal with change. “I do not think that the shift to the Gregorian calendar will have any impact on banking systems and operations,” he said.

He also noted that the population of Saudi Arabia is a little over 30 million, a figure far below that of some developed countries which have populations far beyond that and yet experience no problems.  He said there was a sufficient number of ATMs in the Saudi market and that they would be able to cope with the rush of withdrawals if that happens.

The Hijri calendar is made up of 12 months of 29 or 30 days, depending on the sighting of the moon. The Hijri year has 354 days, 11 days shorter than the Gregorian year which is made up of 12 months of 30 and 31 days, totaling 365 days in a year.

If your company is affected by the new changes to the payment calendar then please contact our team for a bespoke payroll solution on on +966 11 411 1127 or info@proven-sa.com.

Source: Arab News

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