The support through the Unemployment Insurance Scheme program (SANED) in the coming period will cover 70 percent of Saudi workers in the most affected firms and a maximum of 50 percent of Saudi workers in the least affected establishments, said Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Finance, Acting Minister of Economy and Planning Muhammad Al-Jadaan.
In a statement carried by Saudi Press Agency, Al-Jadaan, who is also the chairman of the board of directors of the General Organization for Social Insurance, said that the details of the support period, eligibility criteria, application mechanism, eligible activities and amount of support will be announced in the next 10 days.
He disclosed that the approval to extend the initiative 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 the royal order. The committee saw the need to continue the support for an additional period, according to a report carried by Al-Eqtisadiah newspaper.
The committee includes representatives from the Ministries of Finance, Economy and Planning, Human Resources and Social Development and the General Organization for Social Insurance (GOSI).
Al-Jadaan said 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.
Additionally, they were exempted from paying insurance contributions for all subscribers, benefitting from this support.
This resulted in a drop by more than 10 percent in the number of private sector workers excluded during the first six months of 2020, compared to the number of those excluded during the same period last year, he said.
He stressed that the support helped reduce the economic impact on the labor market and its Saudization 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.
This support targeted all firms in the private sector that were unable to pay Saudi workers their salaries due to the repercussions of this crisis. The support enabled these enterprises to resume their operations easily.