New Saudi punctuality system increases staff attendance to 55.5%

The fingerprint registration system led to protests from workers last month



Image taken from Saudi Gazette

A new punctuality system introduced for 2,300 staff at Madinah Municipality in Saudi Arabia has increased attendance to 55.5 per cent, according to reports.

The system, which requires staff to register their attendance via a fingerprint scanner five times a day, drew headlines last month after workers gathered in the lobby in protest and expressed their dissatisfaction on social media.

Read: New punctuality system prompts complaints from Saudi workers

“A delay of half an hour to an hour from registering the fingerprint will lead to consequences if the delays add up to more than 10 hours a month,” Madinah mayor Muhammad Al-Amri told local publication Al-Watan.

“There are still employees who are resentful of the decision and prefer to only sign in and out, having only two fingerprint registrations a day.”

The official told the publication the system was introduced after the employee absence rate reached 72 per cent, resulting in 114,000 delayed and unaccomplished tasks.

Attendance in the past week had increased from 38 per cent to above 50 per cent, Al-Amri added.

“I aim to increase the attendance rate to 90 percent. The new system will increase the efficiency of the workflow and the civilian’s requests and paperwork will be processed as it should,” he said. “Any failure to comply with the system will reflect on the employees’ salary.”

One unnamed citizen was quoted as saying the system had improved efficiency at the municipality and that they wished it would be applied to all government directorates.