Oman: Restriction On Employment Of Expatriate Labour
There has been huge presence of expatriate or foreign workers in Oman, more so in the private sector due to which the Omanis feel marginalized in their own nation. The Ministerial Decision No. 38/2018 though the Minister of Manpower imposed a 6 month ban on recruiting expat workers in 87 positions on January 2018. This was in line with policy of Omanization and provide more opportunities to Omani citizens.
The Labour Law Article 18 states employer is not allowed to hire non-Omani workers unless the employee obtains permit from the Ministry of Manpower and the employer must comply with:
evidence no Omani is available for the position;
employer has complied with the target quota of Omanization; and
expatriate has technical skill or qualiﬁcation that is required in the Oman Labour market;
the expatriate is medically ﬁt and free from contagious or chronic diseases as outlined by the Ministry of Health;
the expatriate has entered into a contract with employer
An employer that does not comply with the Omanization percentage in Article 11 shall be liable for a ﬁne minimum OMR 250 and maximum OMR 500 for each Omani employee that could have been hired. The employers have six month deadline to rectify the situation and comply with the Omanization quota.
Employers have a six-month period to rectify the situation and comply with the Omanisation percentage. If an employer does not do so and re-offends under the article, the penalty as stipulated above will be doubled.
The Ministerial Decision No. 487/2018 restricted foreign worker jobs in within domain of sales, marketing and purchasing. Then, Ministerial Decision No. 488/2018 from 2 December 2018 prohibits hiring of expat workers in construction and cleaning jobs. Finally, Ministerial Decision No. 489/2018 deals with restriction on hiring the jobs in blacksmith, carpentry, aluminium, and brick kiln work commencing from 2 January 2019.
The Omanization drive has become urgent agenda of the Oman Government because in 2017 the unemployment among the Omani youth reached upto 48%. Though the law is beneficial for bringing employment to the Omanis but foreign workers who have been skilled labours faced the fire as they were terminated despite being on labour contracts since many years.