Working @ PMU
Location of Campus
The new campus is located in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. The area nearby is called Half Moon Bay which is located in Al Azezya. The campus is about a 30 to 40 minute drive from the University accommodations in Al Khobar.
Terms and Conditions of Employment
Each employee signs an “Employment Contract” that sets out their main terms and conditions of employment. PMU is new start up University and as such, new policies, procedures, rules and regulations are evolving and developing.
The University is a private sector Employer and is subject to the Laws of Saudi Arabia. For example, the Saudi Arabia Labor Law applies to PMU. Another example is that portion of the Social Insurance Law that deals with the western equivalent of workers’ compensation applies to expatriates. PMU pays a fee of 2% per month of your basic salary to the “General Organization for Social Insurance (GOSI)” for this coverage. Although working in a University is not generally considered hazardous work, what not be obvious is the fact that this coverage may apply if an employee should be involved in a traffic accident either coming or going from work.
The University provides a Medical Insurance Plan where the premium for the coverage is paid by the University. The employee will pay a small fee for each visit to a medical doctor. Further details of the plan are available through the HR Department.
Sick leave coverage is based on the provisions of the Labor Law. The employee has coverage for 30 calendar days at full basic salary, 60 calendar days at 75% of basic salary, and 30 calendar days at no salary.
One of the key benefits for expatriates is the fact that there is no income tax paid to the Saudi Arabian authorities. Employees should seek professional advice as to their tax liability in their home country. The taxation laws vary between the various countries.
The University is the employee’s sponsor and as such is responsible for the conduct and behavior of each employee and their dependents while they are resident in Saudi Arabia. This responsibility is different from the normal employment environment in western countries since there is usually a distinction between workplace and personal life. Each “Employment Contract” contains provisions that set out the University’s expectations for each employee.
Each expatriate employee holding a faculty appointment or other professional appointment is provided with a private office that is modern, well-furnished and equipped with the latest technology. Faculty is provided with lap top computer for their work; staff members are provided with desktop only.
The University has a very strong orientation to the use of technology in the classroom and in day to day office work. An automated management information system & course management system is used at PMU known as Banner & Black board which is effectively exercised by staff & faculty. State of the art equipment is provided for classroom instruction including smart board technology in each classroom. High quality training is available to all employees in the use of the latest technology. IT helpdesk line is also available to assist staff & faculty at any time.
The working conditions are based on a new and modern University facility. The full campus facility is expected to be completed by June 2009. In the interim, the finished and occupied space is of high quality, well-furnished and equipped. The temperatures during the summer period are quite high but all of the facilities are well air conditioned.
It is important for women coming to Saudi Arabia to know that women are not allowed to drive vehicles. In view of this fact, the University does provide daily transportation to and from the campus in University buses. Transportation is also provided for some of the evenings and on the weekends for shopping. The University also arranges special outings for employees to see the local area. Some men also use bus transportation to work while others have chosen to either lease or buy a car. Speaking with one’s colleagues is the simplest way to decide what works best for each person.