The Saudi government has made SANED exemptions in an effort to minimize COVID-19 damage on private sector workers whose jobs are at risk due to the virus. The SR 9 billion move was issued through a royal order on April 3, and accordingly employers can now apply for compensation from GOSI (General Organization for Social Insurance) instead of terminating the contract of a Saudi worker. The compensation worth equals 60% of GOSI-registered wages for a duration of 3 months, with a monthly SR9000 limit.
The royal order is part of a series of initiatives the Saudi government has implemented to mitigate COVID-19 impact on the labor market, as the Kingdom has prioritized reducing unemployment among its nationals through Saudization for years. It will cover all Saudis working in establishments with less than 5 working nationals, and 70% of Saudis in establishments with more than 5 working nationals.
The compensation will benefit 1.2 million Saudis and their employers, who will be waived from paying wages for 3 months starting in May, after the current month being a window to receive the compensation requests. Following the compensation period, firms must resume payment of wages for all employees.
The Saudi government has dedicated SR70 billion for initiatives combating the COVID-19 impact especially on SME’s in the Kingdom, meanwhile SAMA (Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority) has contributed with a SR50 billion program.