Saudi king earmarks $2.4 billion to pay private-sector workers

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Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has ordered up to 9 billion riyals ($2.4 billion) to be disbursed to pay part of the wages of private-sector workers to deter companies from laying off staff, the state-run Saudi Press Agency reported on Friday.

“Instead of terminating the employment of a Saudi citizen, the employer has the right to ask social insurance to disburse as compensation 60 percent of his salary over a period of three months, with a maximum limit of nine thousand riyals (per employee) and with a total value of up to 9 billion riyals (2 billion pounds),” the SPA reported, citing a royal order.

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