New labour, civil service laws by April; 15,000 jobs on cards

New labour and civil laws will have clear definitions with regard to salaries, vacations and working hours

  
A general view of the Muscat skyline on November 18, 2014 in Muscat, Oman. Image used for illustrative purpose.

A general view of the Muscat skyline on November 18, 2014 in Muscat, Oman. Image used for illustrative purpose.

Getty Images/Chris Jackson

The Ministry of Labour will unveil the new labour and civil service laws after two months as part of its efforts to bring more transparency on Oman’s labour market.

“The new laws are being rolled out to create a healthy work environment that will see a productivity-linked work culture in the Sultanate”, said Dr Mahad bin Said Baowain.

The minister said in an interview that the new laws, which are weaved to bring both public and private sectors more close, will be unveiled by the end of March or in the first week of April this year.

According to the minister, the new labour and civil laws will have clear definitions with regard to salaries, vacations and working hours.

“An employee should measure the work based on productivity and the work he does”, he said, revealing, “there is a plan to unify the benefits between the public and private sectors”.

In the interview that was given to Oman TV, the minister said that 80 per cent of those registered job seekers will be provided with employment opportunities during the next two years.

According to the minister, through the Omanisation initiative, the ministry plans to create and fill 15,000 to 20,000 job opportunities.

“The target is to absorb approximately 40 per cent of those job seekers during this year, and approximately 80 per cent within the next two years,” Dr Mahad revealed during the interview.

While 70 per cent of the jobs will be in the private sector, the remaining 30 per cent in the public sector depending on the available opportunities. “The labour market is based on supply and demand, and the private sector is a large market, where a large number of job aspirants can be absorbed. There are many initiatives that will be announced in the coming month”, he said.

With regard to terminations and salary reductions, the minister said that companies have been instructed not to take any harsh decisions.

“A total of 300 companies with a workforce of over 70,000 have applied either for terminations or salary cuts. Steps have already been initiated to ensure that Omanis continue to remain in their jobs,” Dr Mahad said.

The minister also said that a committee has been formed to negotiate with the various parties to find out solutions to the challenges in the job market arising notably from the coronavirus crisis.

“The Covid-19 pandemic broke out amid a period of economic crisis adding to the challenge in stopping the laying off of Omanis in the private sector. The private sector is central to the economy, and we are confident that it is capable of overcoming the challenges,” the minister said.

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