RIYADH: The new job evaluation system, recently announced by the Ministry of Civil Services as part of a comprehensive reform plan, is effective from Muharram.
All government agencies from this first month of the Hijri calendar, beginning Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016, will apply it whereby a mandatory assessment of an employee will be carried out to determine their eligibility to get a premium bonus for the next year.
The Ministry of Civil Service earlier said that it is moving through a transitional period with new understandings about human resources to increase the performance of government employees. The objective is to raise the performance of employees, increase their productivity and develop a work culture that will positively help in the National Transformation Program.
As per the plan, 1.5 million Saudis working in the government sector are in what is being described a “transitional period.” This has come about after all the ministries and public authorities started to apply the new functionality relating to job performance evaluation, which effectively means that they have no more immunity from dismissal.
According to the ministry, the move for dismissal of the employee can only take place after three years, after giving fair chances so that they can improve their performance.
However, during this time, the employee will be denied any salary increment if there is no improvement. As per rules of the plan, employees who get an unsatisfactory employment evaluation, and if they don’t improve in the second year they will be questioned and disciplined.
In the third year, their files will be sent to a specialized body to consider disciplinary dismissal.
The new system classifies employees into five categories from distinguished employees to those with low performance. Annual increment will be decided based on this assessment. An employee who gets an “unsatisfactory” mark will be deprived from any increment.
Each category will have a certain rate (percentage) based on an annual circular issued by the Civil Services Ministry before the performance assessment period.
Under the reform plan, the five categories are: “Excellent” with employees who get 5 marks with a premium rate of 5 to 6 percent; “very good” with 4 marks and a premium rate of 4 percent; “good” with 3 marks and a premium rate of 3 percent; “satisfactory” with 2 marks and a premium rate of 1 to 2 percent; and “unsatisfactory” with only 1 mark and no premium rate (increment).
Reaction were varied.
Mohammad Al-Khalidi, a human resources professor, said the decision may stop the development of government sector employees who are a valuable resource in the organization.
Bandar Al-Safir, an HR specialist, said the grace period of three years given to employees to improve their performance is way too long.

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