SDG8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

Al Maarefa University’s Commitment to SDG 8: Fostering Decent Work and Inclusive Economic Growth through an Equitable Work Environment

Sustainable Development Goal 8 (SDG 8) emphasizes the importance of promoting sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all. Al Maarefa University, situated in Saudi Arabia, recognizes the significance of SDG 8 and is dedicated to creating a work environment that promotes diversity, equity, and the well-being of its employees and faculty members.

Creating Decent Work Opportunities:

Al Maarefa University’s commitment to SDG 8 starts with providing decent work opportunities for its employees and faculty. The university offers a supportive and inclusive work environment that values their contributions and provides fair compensation, benefits, and professional development opportunities. This approach ensures that employees can thrive and contribute effectively to the institution’s growth.

Promoting Diversity and Inclusion:

Al Maarefa University prioritizes diversity and inclusion as core values. The university promotes a culture that respects and values individual differences, including gender, ethnicity, and background. By fostering a diverse workforce, the university benefits from a wide range of perspectives and experiences that enhance decision-making and problem-solving.

Equal Opportunities and Gender Equality:

Al Maarefa University actively works to achieve gender equality and provide equal opportunities for all employees and faculty members. The university’s policies and practices aim to eliminate gender-based discrimination, ensuring that women have access to leadership positions, professional growth, and a supportive work environment.

Professional Development and Skill Enhancement:

The university invests in the professional development of its employees and faculty. Al Maarefa University provides training, workshops, and opportunities for skill enhancement, enabling its workforce to continually improve and stay relevant in their respective fields. This commitment to growth benefits both employees and the institution’s overall performance.

Work-Life Balance and Well-Being:

Recognizing the importance of work-life balance and well-being, Al Maarefa University implements policies that support flexible work arrangements and provide resources for employees to maintain their physical and mental health. This holistic approach contributes to a motivated and productive workforce.

Collaborative Work Culture:

Al Maarefa University cultivates a collaborative work culture that encourages open communication, teamwork, and the sharing of ideas. This approach enhances employee engagement, fosters creativity, and contributes to the university’s economic growth and innovation.

Partnerships for Economic Growth:

The university collaborates with local industries, businesses, and government entities to align its programs with market needs and foster economic growth. By producing skilled graduates who are equipped to contribute to the workforce, Al Maarefa University directly supports the achievement of SDG 8’s objectives.

Al Maarefa University’s commitment to SDG 8 is reflected in its efforts to create a work environment that promotes decent work, diversity, equity, and economic growth. Through policies that ensure fair treatment, professional development, and well-being for its employees and faculty, the university contributes to building a strong foundation for sustained economic growth and the overall advancement of Saudi Arabia. By embracing the principles of SDG 8, Al Maarefa University plays a pivotal role in fostering a thriving and inclusive society.

Paying all staff and faculty at least living wage

Article 115:

The Council of Ministers shall, when necessary, have the right to determine the minimum wages either in general or with respect to a given area or occupation. 

Such decision of the Council of Ministers shall be issued on the recommendation of the Minister of Labor, and the decision of the Council of Ministers shall be considered effective from the date of its publication in the Official Gazette. 

In recommending the minimum wages, the Minister of Labor shall seek the assistance of a committee composed of the Deputy Ministers of Labor, Finance and National Economy, Petroleum and Mineral Resources, and Commerce and Industry. 

The Minister of Labor shall, by decision, add to them two other members of experience and knowledge he shall select. The committee shall be called to a meeting whenever the Minister of Labor deems it necessary. 

Article 116:

The workman’s wages and any amount due to him must be paid in the official currency of the country. Wages must be paid during working hours and at the place of work in accordance with the following provisions: 

  • Wages of daily-rated workmen shall be paid at least once a week. 
  • Wages of monthly-rated workmen shall be paid once a month. 
  • If the work is performed by piece and it needs a period exceeding two weeks, a payment proportionate to the work completed by the workman must be made to him every week, and the full balance of his wages shall be paid within the week immediately following the delivery of the work. 
  • In cases other than those mentioned above, wages shall be paid to workmen at least once a week. 

Article 117:

If the workman’s service terminates, his wages shall be paid immediately; however, if he leaves the work of his own accord his wages may in this case be paid within seven days at the most from the date of his leaving the work. 

Article 119:

No amount may be deducted from the workman’s wages in satisfaction of private rights, except in respect of the following: 

  • To recover the advances or any amounts paid to him in excess of his rights, provided no deduction shall, in this case, be made from the workman’s wages in excess of 10% of such wages. 
  • Social insurance premiums due from the workman. 
  • The workman’s contributions to the Savings Fund and the advances due to this Fund. 
  • Installments pertaining to any plan for the construction of houses for the purpose of transferring ownership thereof to the workmen, or to any other benefits or services, if any, as decided by the Minister of Labor. 
  • Fines that are inflicted on the workman for offenses committed by him under the provision of Article 126, as well as any amount that is withheld from his pay in accordance with Article 81, for any damage he has caused. 
  • Any debt to be recovered in execution of a judiciary judgment, provided that the amount deducted in this respect shall not exceed one-fourth of the wages due to the workman and provided that an alimony debt and a debt for food, clothing, and lodging shall be satisfied in this order and before all other debts. 

Article 120:

In all cases, the percentage of the amounts deducted shall not exceed one-half of the wages due to the workman, unless the Commission finds that it is possible to increase the deduction beyond such percentage, or that the workman needs more than one-half of his salary. In this latter case, the workman shall under no condition be paid more than three-fourths of his salary. 

Article 121:

If any amount is deducted from the workman’s wages for reasons other than those specified herein, without the latter’s consent, or if the employer delays, without justification, payment of the workman’s wages when they fall due in accordance with the Law, the workman, his representative, or the Head of the appropriate Labor Office may submit an application to the appropriate Commission so that it may order the employer to return to the workman any wrongfully-deducted amounts or to pay him his outstanding wages. 

If it is established to the said Commission that the employer has unjustifiably deducted the said amounts or delayed payment of the wages, the Commissions may impose on the employer a fine that shall not exceed double the amount deducted from the workman’s wages, or double the outstanding wages. All pavements ordered by the Commission in this case shall be collected through administrative channels. 

Wage Protection Program

The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development launches new updates to the rules of the Wages Protection System

The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development launches the first phase of the new updates to the rules of the Wages Protection System, to show the percentage of commitment of establishments and display alerts, provided that the processing of files based on the new work rules will begin immediately.

The Wages Protection System is one of the Ministry’s programs aimed at providing a suitable and safe work environment in the private sector, in terms of raising the level of transparency and preserving the rights of contracting parties.

The system monitors the payment of wages to all workers in the private sector (Saudis and expatriates), and measures the extent of the establishments’ commitment to pay wages on time, and at the value agreed upon between the contracting parties, with the aim of reducing wage disputes between establishments and workers in the private sector.

The new update of the Wages Protection System enables establishments through the website to know the rejected records based on the month and the type of violation, and to display the compliance status for the current month and the last six months.

The ministry explained that the new update of the system rejects the (wage protection file) completely if the file is opened after receiving it from the bank, and the absence of the unified number of the establishment or its non-conformity, and payment in a currency other than the Saudi riyal all of this would cause the file to be rejected.

The Ministry presented through its electronic portal a special document and a user guide for the new system through its electronic portal, stressing that failure to follow the specifications of the wage protection file for the program leads to its complete rejection.

According to the new update of the system, (employee records) will be rejected in the wage protection file if the total is not equal to the total basic salary, housing allowance, other entitlements and deductions, as well as if one of the payment details or the total is negative, and if the total salary is equal to zero, or the worker’s national identity or residence is not entered.

The Ministry affirmed its commitment to preserving the rights between the parties to the contractual relationship, and violating every establishment that is not committed to raising the wage protection file in its correct form, noting that the violations affect the calculation of the commitment percentage if they are not justified by the owner of the establishment and then accepted by the Ministry’s inspector.

Among the violations is that the establishment pays the worker’s wage more than once a month, where the duplicate record is excluded, as well as if the worker’s wage is not paid on time, and also the establishment violates if more than 50% of the basic salary of the worker registered in the social insurance is deducted or an increase of 20% over the salary registered with the social insurance, and a violation is calculated against the establishment if the basic salary is not equal to the salary registered in the insurance.

The Ministry pointed out that the new update of the Wages Protection System calculates the compliance index through the number of employees whose wages have been transferred in the WPS from the total employees registered in the social insurance on the establishment, while the new expatriate worker is not counted in the commitment percentage in the first 90 days of entering the Kingdom, nor the worker licensed outside the Kingdom, and those who had cases pending in court with the need to justify all of the above, and the Saudi worker is also counted. In the percentage of commitment if he is present in the facility for a full month.

According to the new update of the system, services are suspended on violating establishments that are not committed to wage protection after alerting establishments, at the specified time when the establishment is required to raise the file.

The Wages Protection Program monitors the payment of wages to all male and female workers in private sector establishments (Saudis and expatriates) in order to create a database containing updated information on the payment of wages to workers in the private sector and determine the extent of the establishments’ commitment to pay wages on time and at the agreed value. Starting from 22/7/1434 AH corresponding to 1/6/2013 AD, the program has been implemented to include in its first phase giant size establishments (3,000 employees or more) as a “trial period” and these establishments will be able to register and upload the wage payment file in the ministry’s e-services portal, mandatory application from 25/10/1434 AH corresponding to 1/9/2013 AD, according to the plans announced on social networking sites and the ministry’s website.

Human resources


To be a role model in providing high quality services to the faculty and employees of Almaarefa University in order to achieve high human capital performance.


To meet the expectations of the faculty and employees by providing high quality services that attract, motivate, and retain university human resources in a supportive work environment.


  • Accuracy at Work: we focus on the accuracy of data related to HR work and activities as well as the accuracy in the application of the approved laws & regulations and the validity  of the documents.
  • Achievement ​​at Work: accomplishing services that are provided to the beneficiaries while interacting with events and emergencies swiftly.
  • Continuous Development: We work on developing Human Resources systems and on developing the level of the services provided as well as employees motivation policies.
  • Privacy and Confidentiality: All employee and university data is restricted and confidential.
  • Flexibility: Developing and implementing Human Resources policies & procedures, especially when amendments and changes occur on internal or external laws and also when dealing with special cases.
  • Coordination and Integration: Working together with teamwork spirit, whether within the administration or with other organizational units at the university.


  • Align Human Resources policies and administrative procedures with the university’s needs and goals.
  • Establish and develop an impartial structure and adequate system of incentives and benefits to increase the employees’ sense of loyalty and belonging.
  • Utilize the best means to conserve the distinguished competencies.
  • Oversee the implementation of administrative work plans and of programs for development, improvement and motivation in order to increase the effectiveness of Human Resources and achieve better performance.
  • Participate in the follow up of the automation of the administration work, the application of the HRMS program, and the supervision of its implementation.
  • Participate in the preparation of the training and development plan for university staff.
  • Prepare job analysis and evaluation for all job positions at the university.
  • Ensure that processes & procedures of the performance and compensation management are designed and implemented to align employees performance with the university’s goals.
  • Prepare a job performance evaluation of the department’s employees and supervise its implementation.
  • Evaluate the medical insurance service provided by insurance companies along with a regular follow up to ensure that it achieves the required level of quality.
  • Supervise Personnel Affairs issues and their services.
  • Continuous follow up of occupational safety requirements & prevention measures,and the application of relevant rules & regulations of the Ministry of Human Resources.
  • Follow up on the statutory procedures, directives, and decisions issued by the authorized figure in relation to financial and administrative issues.
  • Work on resolving disputes between employees, the company and the designated labor workforce.
  • Propose to reform Human Resources policies in accordance with the labor regulations and internal regulations of the university, and follow up on their implementation after approval.
  • Handle government relations services to ensure that the services provided by the Passports Department, the Ministry of Human Resources and Foreign Affairs, and the Chamber of Commerce are all provided to university staff.
  • Register and update university staff’ social information in the system of The General Organization for Social Insurance.
  • Register new Saudi employees in the Human Resources Fund system
  • Follow up on the university’s dues with the Human Resources Fund until resolved and collected while coordinating with the relevant authorities in charge.
  • Prepare periodic reports on the levels of accomplishments & achievement and provide recommendations to improve work quality.
  • Participate in preparing the university’s annual achievement report.

Flexibility in Work Environments

With a group of fellow pharmacists

host us #كلية_الصيدلة #جامعة_المعرفة

I will meet the pharmacy students, God willing, next Monday and talk about flexibility in work environments

Chapter X: Employment of Juveniles and Women

1. Common Rules

Article 160:

Adolescents, juveniles and women may not be employed in hazardous operations or harmful industries, such as power-operated machinery, mines, quarries and the like. The Minister of Labor shall, by decision, designate the occupations and operations tat are regarded as harmful to health, or are apt to expose women, juveniles and adolescents to given hazards requiring tat their employment in such occupations or operations be prohibited or restricted by special conditions, in no case may men and women commingle in the place of work or in the accessory facilities or other appurtenances thereto.

Article 161:

Adolescents, juveniles and women may not be employed during the night time which covers an interval of at least eleven hours between sunset and sunrise, except in the cases to be determined by decision of the Minister of Labor in respect of non-industrial occupations and in cases of force majeure.

Article 162:

Juveniles and adolescents may not be employed for a period exceeding six hours a day, and the exceptions provided for in Articles 150 and 152 of this Law shall not apply to them.

2. Employment of Juveniles

Article 163:
  • A juvenile who has not completed thirteen years of age shall not be employed, nor shall he be allowed to enter places of work. The Minister of Labor may, by decision, raise this age limit in certain industries or areas. Before employing a juvenile, the employer shall secure from him the following documents and shall keep them in the juvenile’s personal file:
  • An official birth certificate or an age estimation certificate issued by a competent physician and approved by the Ministry of Health.
  • A certificate of physical fitness for the required work issued by a competent physician and duly approved by the Minister of Health.
  • The consent of the juvenile’s guardian.
  • The employer shall, within the first week following the employment of every juvenile, notify the appropriate Labor Office of such employment and shall keep at the place of work a special register for juvenile workmen in which he shall indicate the name of the juvenile, his age, the full name of his guardian, his place of residence and the date of his employment, in addition to the general register provided for in article 10 of this Law.

Staff Self-Services System of the Human Resources Department

The legal age to work is determined through the recruitment policy that is published in the staff self-services system of the Human Resources Department and published to all UM staff, that considered as a basic condition for completing the recruitment procedures, as well as the Ministry of Human Resources as a control agency that limits these procedures.

Employee Behavior and Work Ethics Policy

UM has a procedure that supports any employee who can fill a grievance according to the Administrative hierarchy in the organization, and there is a provision for that in the employee rights of the employee behavior and work ethics policy.

An employee rights unit was established nearly 5 years ago represented by an employee her reference was law to receive employees’ complaints and express their opinion as a legal authority, and then raise them to the concerned party inside the university, but it was later canceled and unfortunately there is no evidence for this and the committee’s approval.