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Provisions of the Labour Laws in Oman

Info: 2923 words (12 pages) Essay
Published: 16th Aug 2019

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Jurisdiction / Tag(s): International Law

Oman Labour Law issued in accordance with the Sultan’s Approval. Ministry of Manpower is one of the main important thin which influence the Labour Laws in Oman. Oman officially the Sultanate of Oman is an Arab country in southwest Asia on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It borders the United Arab Emirates on the northwest, Saudi Arabia on the west and Yemen on the southwest. The sultan is the head of state. He:

Presides over the Council of Ministers (or may appoint someone to do so).

Issues and ratifies laws.

May declare a state of emergency, general mobilization or war, and make peace in accordance with the provisions of the Law.

May sign international treaties in accordance with the provisions of the Law and issue decrees ratifying them.

According to the Basic Law, succession will be determined by the Ruling Family Council within three days of the position of Sultan becoming vacant. If the Ruling Family Council does not agree on a successor, the Defence Council shall confirm the appointment of the person designated by the Sultan in his letter to the Family Council. Sultan Qaboos has no children which makes the issue of succession more uncertain Salamon, M., (1998).

The Labor Law was initially codified in 1973. It has since been amended several times since then. In accordance with the government’s policy of Romanization of the work force, the Labor Law lists several positions in which foreign nationals may not be employed, such as technical assistants, guards, light vehicle drivers and agricultural workers.

Oman Labour Law was amended during February of 2010 to allow the formation of Labour Unions. There are now approximately 70 Labour Unions within the Sultanate. The law forbids a strike for any reason. Collective bargaining is not permitted, however there exist labour-management committees in firms with more than 50 workers. These committees are not authorized to discuss conditions of employment, including hours and wages. The Labour Welfare Board provides a venue for grievances. The Directorate of Labour or Labour office or its branches. In Oman the establishment for Labour laws is according any undertaking run by natural person or body corporate, employing one or more employees in return for salary.

According to Oman Labour Law, employer is referring to any natural person or body corporate employing one or more employees in return for salary. Employee is referring to any natural person working in return for salary with an employer and under his management and supervision. There are four types of works fall under in the Oman labour Laws.

Under the general provisions in Oman Labour Laws, the provisions of this law do not apply to persons in the army, police, government & municipalities, not to persons in the employer’s family living with and dependent upon him, nor to outside workers, workers in simple occupations, domestic servants and workers whose work does not fall within the scope of the work or business or their employers. The law will be applied to all or some of these categories gradually by a decision from His Majesty the Sultan, in accordance with what is suggested by the Minister and approved by the Cabinet. All employers and workers are subject to the provisions of this law except where specially excluded. Also subject to this law are all kinds of establishments, organizations and their subsidiaries, be they Omani or foreign, which practice their activities within the Sultanate, whether they are public or private, secular or religious, including private teaching institutions, be they Omani or foreign Commencing on the date that this law becomes effective, all employers must provide or at least maintain minimum standards under the conditions of employment laid down in this law.

No worker may suffer any reduction in standards and conditions of service under which he was employed before the provisions of this law were applied, so long as the worker remained in the service of his employer after the date on which the provisions of this law became effective. The right of a worker to make any claims stipulated in this law is forfeited after two years have elapsed from the date on which he was entitled to claim in cases that had arisen before the issue of the law. The two year period is to be calculated from the date of publication.

According to Oman Labour Law, there is nothing stated in this law to prevent and employer initiating schemes by which his workers may obtain more benefits than those stipulated, or from providing them with other advantages or entering into a contract with them, the terms of which are more generous than those stipulated by this law. Should a provision of this law conflict with one of the conditions in such schemes or agreement, the conditions giving greater benefit to the worker will apply.

The Ministry will create labour offices under its control in suitable locations. The offices will offer their services without recompense to employers and workers to implement this law. A ministerial decision will be issued delineating their sphere of authority. The Minister may appoint directors of labour, inspectors and other officials, whenever necessary for the purpose of implementing this law. Anyone working in the Ministry can be authorized to assume any powers or to carry out the duties related to any subject or matter conceded by this law. Such authorization will be given by ministerial decree. The director of labour, inspector or any labour official may at all reasonable times on the instructions of their superiors:

  1. Have the right of entry to places of work to carry out any inspection and examination of ledgers and papers related to the work and to exact the requisite statements from employers or those acting for them.
  2. Request that all buildings and establishments in which workers live or work are to be kept clean and healthy
  3. Request an employer to facilitate the attendance of any worker in his employment and to produce any documents or records relating to the worker
  4. Gather information from the employer or whoever is acting for him on any matters appertaining to the implementation of any provision of this law
  5. When a visit or inspection is called for, director or inspector of labour or labour official must inform the employer of his representative, unless he has reasonable grounds in that such notification might affect the performance of his duties

Control of the Employment of Workers

Any Omani who is fit and wants to work must ask for his name to be recorded at the labour office, located near his place of residence, giving his age, qualifications, previous work and preferences. These offices must record the applications consecutively immediately they are submitted. The applicant must be given a certificate of registration free of charge. A decision will be issued by the minister on the information which the certificate should include. The function of the labour offices with regard to employment is as follows:

  1. To obtain notice of vacancies from employers
  2. To refer applications for work to suitable vacancies
  3. To give advice and assistance on the vocational training available to applicants so that it is easier for them to be employed in vacancies and work open to them
  4. Other matters which come within their sphere of competence as decided by the minister

In principle the recommendations of the labour offices regarding employment are not binding, except that the minister may impose upon employers in some professions or industries or in certain areas an embargo on the employment of workers, except through a labour office, according to the conditions and circumstances to be determined by a ministerial decision. Any employer employing more than five workers must notify the labour office in the area of his work about them within one month of the publication of this law in the Official Gazette. Establishments and organizations coming into being after this law is in force must notify the labour office within one month of their foundation. Notification must include the name and address of the employer, type of work, activities pursued, number of workers, both Omani and foreign, their professions and basic salaries. Every employer must notify the labour office situated in the area of his work of the positions and tasks which have been left open or created by him, whatever they may be, giving the appropriate salaries and the effective date of occupancy within seven days of their becoming vacant or being created.

The employer must record in a special register the name, address, age sex and nationality of the worker and the type of work assigned to him, his marital status, his salaries and other monetary remuneration or assistance received. This register must be kept at the place of work for the perusal of the labour inspector who has the right at any time of examining it to ensure that all or any one of the conditions listed and all or any one of the wages are recorded correctly and properly. Any person who supplies an employer with a group of workers without supervising their work or the workers himself is not allowed to practice this work until after he has obtained permission from the department of labour to do so. The contract between the employer and the contractor supplying the labour must be confirmed in writing. The type of work must be stated, the workers’ wage rates, the obligations of the employer towards them, approximate duration of the work and the areas from which the workers will come.

Control of Foreigners’ Work

It is not permitted for non-Oman’s to perform work in the Sultanate of Oman until after clearance has been obtained from the ministry in accordance with the procedure and measures decided by the ministry. Clearance will not be given, unless the following conditions have been fulfilled:

1. The non-Omani worker must first have obtained the approval of the ministry before entering the Sultanate

2. The non-Omani must have entered the country in a legal manner and complied with the residence regulations

3. He must possess technical qualifications or abilities which the country needs and which are not available among citizens of the Sultanate or where the number of

Omanis is insufficient to meet the demand

4. He must have a contract with an Omani employer or with a non-Omani employer who has obtained clearance as stipulated by regulations no.5 of 1972 governing the Investment of Foreign Capital

Vocational Training

Each employer shall pay financial contributions to the vocational training projects managed by the concerned authority. Such contribution shall be calculated on the basis of the basic salary of the non-Omani worker working with the employer, provided that the contribution shall not exceed 7% per annum of the annual basalary of each non-Omani worker and shall be determined by a decision to be issued by the Minister of Social Affairs and Labour. In case that an employer has established a vocational training centre at the work place and set a training and test programme, supervised by the concerned authority, such an employer shall be compensated for the training costs according to the rules stated in the Vocational and On-Job Training Regulations issued by the High Committee for Vocational Training and Labour.

Contract of Work

A contract must be properly written and two copies must be made, one for each party. If there is no written contract, a worker can by himself establish his rights by any means of proof. The worker shall be given a receipt for any documents or testimonials deposited with the employer. If one party to the contract is unable to read or write or does not know the language in which it is written, he may take the contract to be verified by the signature of a person considered responsible by the director of labour for the purpose of verifying contracts. Verification shall include a statement that the import of the contract has been read and explained to the party concerned in the presence of the responsible person.

Wages, Leave, Hours of Oman Labour Law

The Government, if it deems appropriate to do so, may determine the minimum limit of wages and review such determination whenever economic circumstances require so and may determine the minimum limit of wages for a certain category of workers or the holders of certain qualifications or the employees in certain professions or incumbents of certain posts, the circumstances and the working nature of which require such determination. The minimum limit of wages shall be issued by virtue of a decision to be passed by the Minister after the approval of the cabinet of Ministers.

Wages and other sums to which the worker is entitled will be paid to him in the currency legally in circulation, unless there exists an agreement, where by land may be used for cultivation or other similar benefits are paid to the worker instead of wages. Any such agreement shall be in writing and approved by a responsible person.

Employment of Children, Juveniles and Women

‘Children’ are those who have not reached their thirteenth birthday and ‘juveniles’ are those who are over thirteen but under sixteen (this applies to both males and females). It is absolutely forbidden to employ children and they are not allowed to enter places of work. The employment of juveniles is prohibited:

1. between the hours of 6.00pm and 6.00am

2. in strenuous work of a kind unsuitable for their age

It is also forbidden to give them overtime work and they must not be employed on weekly rest days and official holidays unless permission for them to do so has been obtained from the ministry. The employment of juveniles may also be prohibited in certain industries as determined by a ministerial decision. Work and industries in which their employment is allowed will be determined by a ministerial decision, but they must be in possession of a medical certificate proving their physical fitness to carry out such work. A working woman has the right, on production of a certificate from a qualified doctor, to be absent from work before, during and after childbirth for a period not exceeding a total of six weeks. After the completion of one year’s continuous service, she has the right to choose either to consider her period of absence from work as leave for childbirth without pay, or as sick leave, which entitles her to receive payments for such leave in accordance with the provisions of this law.

Industrial Relations in Oman

Every employer or his representative must acquaint the worker with the hazards of his occupation and the protective measures which must be adopted before he is employed. Every employer must take the necessary precautions to protect the workers during their work from injury to their health and dangers from the work and machinery by:

1. making sure that adequate safety and hygienic conditions prevail in all places of work or places which the workers must approach in order that they can carry out their duties.

2. Making sure that machinery, pieces of equipment and tackle are installed and maintained in the safest possible way.

Labour Disputes

The provisions of this chapter apply to any dispute concerning work or conditions of work which takes place between an employer and one of his workers or between one or more employers and all their employees and workers or any section of them. Any employer employing fifty or more workers must lay down a complaints or grievance procedure to be displayed in a prominent position for workers to see it. A copy must also be sent to the ministry. In conclusion, the procedure should state that the workers have the right to raise their complaints or grievances to the employer or his representative. The worker who has a claim shall firstly follow the valid practice with the employer. If no such practice exists or exists but the worker finds no solution for his claim, he may submit an application to the concerned authority to seek settlement of his dispute with the employer. The concerned authority has to seek amicable settlement of the dispute between the worker and the employer in the light of the explanations and documents submitted by each party within a period not exceeding a maximum period of two weeks from the date of submission of the application. If the concerned authority fails to reach an amicable settlement between the parties, it shall refer the dispute to the Authority of Settlement of Commercial Disputes together with a memorandum including the dispute’s summary, the parties’ arguments and its remarks upon the same.


Any employer who does not comply with the Omanisation’s percentage applicable to the private sector, as prescribed by the concerned authorities, shall be punished with a fine equivalent to 50% of the average of the total amount of wages of the non-Omani labourers who represent the difference between the Omanisation’s percentage to be legally complied with and the actual achieved percentage.

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