Saudi Arabia on Sunday switched to the Gregorian calendar or the Western calendar after the use of the Islamic calendar since it was founded in 1932, Al Arabiya local news reported. The move mainly covers government departments, of which employees will get less annual salaries than they used to receive, as the Islamic year is about 15 days shorter than the Gregorian year.
The decision came after the cabinet announced last week a reduction in salaries of ministers and Shura members (advisors).
It was part of an austerity package, including cancellations and amendments to civil servants’ allowances and rewards, such as canceling the annual bonus.
Saudi Arabia has taken a series of steps to deal with dropping oil prices in global markets.