Ignoring COVID-19 protocols may invite docking of wages

A Saudi man enters a new self-sterilization gate at the Grand Mosque, as a preventive measure against the COVID-19, during the holy month of Ramadan, in the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia May 7, 2020.Saudi Arabia called on people to comply with health measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus on Sunday, as its daily tally of cases rose above 4,000 for the first time. (REUTERS/Saudi Press Agency/Handout)

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development specified penalties for 12 violations by all government employees; in different sectors starting with a warning, admonition, docking of three months’ wages as well as non-payment of periodic bonuses.

The regulations set by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development come under the title; “The Administrative Violations Document for Precautionary Measures to Counter the COVID-19 Virus Outbreak”.

The ministry has actually begun effectively implementing the rules; stressing that any violations will be referred to security authorities for imposition of other statutory penalty; which is a fine of SR1,000 for each violation and doubling the penalty for repeated violations.

The rules came into force as the Kingdom returned to normalcy after COVID-19 lockdowns and curfews; with utmost caution and care, and full commitment to the precautionary as well as preventive measures.

Violations inviting fines

The ministry also classified 12 violations inviting fines for offences; including holding social gatherings; gatherings for exchanging Eid greetings and events; moving between different work areas without sanitizing hands; shaking hands; non-compliance with the physical spacing between employees (1.5 meters); non-commitment to measuring body temperature when entering the workplace; failure to adhere to the floor stickers indicating the mandatory safe social distancing between people in queues at entrances and exits.

This in addition to not wearing cloth face masks or covering the face and nose when entering the workplace or not using them throughout the stay in public places at the work headquarters; not using paper or personal cups for drinks; receiving visitors or members of the public without a prior appointment; not praying on a personal carpet; not wearing a cloth face mask or not covering the nose and mouth during congregational prayer; as well as not taking into account leaving a safe distance between worshipers; not adhering to self-isolation. Besides, attending the workplace with suspicion of having an infection or if the person already has symptoms of COVID-19 infection.

Employees not complying with the precautionary and preventive measures will be penalized as stipulated in the law, the ministry also said.