New reforms the Ministry of Civil Services has introduced in Saudi Arabia, means that workers for the government will no longer be guaranteed raises in pay and can now be fired.
Not only can workers for the government now be fired, but they will receive mandatory assessments to determine eligibility for pay increases or bonuses.
These new reforms that the Ministry announced officially took effect at the beginning of the new Islamic year, which was October 2, said a local news agency.
The reforms aim to increase employees’ performance, productivity and to develop an employee work culture that is in line with reforms announced earlier in 2016 under the government’s National Transformation Plan.
Following the new system’s introduction, more than 1.5 million Saudi employees for the government will be subject to evaluations on job performance and are no longer immune from being dismissed.
The government workers are going to now receive their pay by the Gregorian instead of the Islamic calendar.
However, employees of the government can be fired only after they have been given a period of three years to make improvements to their work performance, according to the government’s new reforms that started on Sunday.
During that period of three years, the employee is not eligible for any increases of salary unless there is an improvement in their work performance before the end of the second year of the three-year period.
During the third and final year of the period, the file of the employee is sent to a special group that will consider the employees dismissal.
Under this evaluation system for employees, workers are to be classified in one of five categories from unsatisfactory up to excellent.
Employees who are placed in the excellent category will receive a raise of between 5% and 6%, while very good will be given a 4% increase, good employees will receive 3% and satisfactory employees are given between 1% and 2%.
Employees that are classified as unsatisfactory are not eligible to receive increases.
One specialist in human resources from Saudi Arabia said that the period of three years given to employees deemed unsatisfactory to improve their work performances was much too long.
That period needs to be shortened, said the analyst as it means unsatisfactory workers could continue in that same manner for another three-year period.