DAMMAM — A total of 40.6 percent of Saudis working in the private sector will benefit from the recent government decision to increase minimum monthly wage of Saudis for Nitaqat program. Minister of Human Resources and Social Development Ahmed Al-Rajhi issued an order last Wednesday to raise the minimum wages for Saudi employees under the “Nitaqat” employment program to SR4,000 from SR3,000.
There are a total of 1,759,558 Saudis working in the private sector, according to a report in Al-Watan newspaper. Among these, 24,687 (1.4 percent) are drawing a monthly salary of SR1,500 while the salary of 30,216 (1.7 percent) ranges between SR1,501 and SR2,999. The monthly wage of 660,497 Saudi employees, representing 37.5 percent, is SR3,000.
The report showed that nearly one-third of the Saudi beneficiaries of a hike in their minimum salary are employed in the Riyadh region. There a total of 264,444 Saudi employees drawing a monthly wage of SR3,000 or less in the region and this represents 37 percent, and Makkah/Jeddah sector comes next to it with 106,144 workers (14.8 percent).
Details of Saudi employees drawing monthly wage of less than SR3,000 in other major regions are the following: Eastern Province 92,267 workers (12.9 percent); Al-Qassim region -32,747 (4.6 percent); Asir region -27,221 (3.8 percent); Madinah region -23,286 (3.3 percent); Al-Ahsa -16,230 (2.3 percent); Jubail -14,908 (2.1 percent); Jazan -13,708 (1.9 percent); Taif -13,129 (1.8 percent); Najran -10,773 (1.5 percent); Hail -10,035 (1.4 percent); Tabuk -10,012 (1.4 percent); Al-Jouf -5,574 (0.8 percent); Al-Baha -4,736 (0.7 percent) and Northern Borders Region -4,049 (0.6 percent).
According to the recent decision of Minister Al-Rajhi, a Saudi worker with a minimum salary of SR4,000 will be calculated as one worker in the Nitaqat program. Earlier, the minimum salary was SR3,000 for the calculation of one Saudi worker. Under the new directive, a Saudi worker whose monthly wage is SR3,000 will be calculated as half a worker. Only two Saudi employees with a minimum salary of SR3,000 will be calculated as one worker.
Part-time employees will also be calculated in the Nitaqat program as half of a Saudi worker provided that social insurance contributions are paid for him with a minimum monthly wage of SR3,000, the ministry said. A part-time worker is calculated as half a worker for a minimum of two entities.