Al-Jubeir meets French foreign minister amid tense regional backdrop

Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian in Paris today.(SPA)
Updated 05 January 2018

Al-Jubeir meets French foreign minister amid tense regional backdrop

PARIS: Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir met his French counterpart, Jean-Yves Le Drian in Paris on Friday.
The pair discussed bilateral relations at the meeting which was also attended by other senior officials that included Saudi Ambassador to France, Khalid bin Mohammed Al-Anqari, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
The meeting took place against a tense regional backdrop amid political turmoil in Iran where more than 20 people are reported to have died following several days of protests.
Al-Jubeir said that discussions with the French foreign minister were constructive and touched on efforts to combat terrorism as well as developments to the peace process and the situation in Syria, Yemen and Iran, Alekhbariya TV reported.

Saudi employers given green light to cut wages, hours

Updated 07 April 2020

Saudi employers given green light to cut wages, hours

  • But businesses hit by coronavirus can change contracts only with employees’ consent, ministry says

JEDDAH: Saudi private-sector employers whose businesses have been crippled by the coronavirus pandemic have been told they can cut their employees’ wages and working hours.

But they may do so only with the employees’ consent, and the reduced wages must accurately reflect the number of hours worked, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development said.

The ministry also moved to allay fears among some private sector staff, both Saudi and expatriate, that unscrupulous employers could use the coronavirus crisis to exploit their workers.

“Workers can report any violation through the ministry’s website, channels and social media platforms,” Saad Al-Hammad, director of Human Resources Affairs at the ministry, told
Arab News.

In addition, employers who have benefited from state subsidies, such as the SR9 billion ($2.4 billion) fund created last week to compensate Saudi workers for the effects of the pandemic, may not terminate employment contracts. Employees, however, retain the right to do so.

The ministry said its aim was to protect employees from dismissal or loss of contractual benefits during the pandemic. It would continue to regulate the labor market, mitigate the economic effects of the virus outbreak on the private sector and protect the interests of both parties in the labor relationship, it said.

Saudi legal counsel Dimah Talal Al-Sharif said amending the contractual relationship between employer and employee in this way was permissible under the legal concept known as “force majeure,” which applied to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The ministerial decision aims to limit any attempt to tamper with people’s rights as employees, and to define the limits that both parties must agree on first, while also reflecting the reality,” Al-Sharif told Arab News.