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Saudi employees paid by Gregorian calendar lose 15 months’ salary after 40 years in job

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JEDDAH: The employees say that they lose 15 days of salary a year, or 15 months over a 40-year professional life, due to the Gregorian calendar as most of the companies switched to the Gregorian calendar to pay employees’ salaries.

Some experts say returning to Hijri calendar will better serve the interests of employees.

Hussein Al-Raqeeb, a financial analyst, said: “Employees should be compensated for the losses associated with salary payment based on the Gregorian calendar, and companies should count the retirement age based on the number of years of service as per the Hijri calendar.”

He said: “Payment of salaries based on the Gregorian calendar also puts pressure on the employee during Ramadan if the days of the Gregorian month do not match with the month of Ramadan.”

He further explained: “Many employees are thus forced to rely on borrowing during this month, and companies save 11 days of salary payment per employee because the Gregorian year is 365 days, not 354 like the Hijri.”

Al-Raqeeb said the government, despite deciding its budget based on the Gregorian calendar, issues salaries to employees based on the Hijri calendar.

He said. The Company pays salaries on the 31st or the first day of the following month, so as not to lose days if an employee leaves before the end of the month.

According to economist Dr. Salem Bajaja,“the conversion to paying salaries based on the Gregorian calendar was very important, as it is more regular and in line with all international financial systems, especially in the banking sector”.

He said.”With around 10 million foreigners working in the Kingdom, this more regulated payment system allows for better cash flows and compatibility with financial systems, despite the shortfalls of losing 11 days of wages annually.”

Talaat Hafez, secretary of the committee of media and banking awareness, said.” the role of banks in the issuance of wages is to ensure compliance with agreements between banks and concerned parties regarding salary payments, regardless of the date”.

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