Monthly minimum wage in the private sector$844
Minimum wage implemented inJuly 1, 2013
Omani labour law issued2003
Wage power: The ongoing efforts Oman’s Ministry of ManpowerAugust 16, 2014
Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Abdullah Al Bakri, Oman’s Minister of Manpower, explains the ministry’s ongoing efforts to develop Omanis’ qualifications in areas required by the oil and gas industry. The ministry is working to facilitate the employment of the local workforce in the country’s private sector by implementing legal measures and by fostering co-ordination.
What kind of efforts has been made to ensure the continuous improvement of Oman’s labour law?
The Omani labour law, issued in 2003, is regularly updated to keep abreast of the latest developments in the labour market, in the national economy and the private sector. Under the chairmanship of the Supreme Council for Planning, and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Oman’s Ministry of Oil and Gas, Ministry of Tourism, Royal Oman Police, Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the General Confederation of the Sultanate of Oman’s Labourers have formed a team to prepare terms of reference for updating the labour law. Global consultancy firm PA CSR has been asked to help in updating the law based on the feedback and proposals of the government, employers and employees. A workshop on the issue was held on January 30, 2014, ensuring that the proposed labour law is in line with international standards and will keep the national economic growth sustainable and the labour market balanced.
What steps has the ministry taken to enhance the employment of Omani citizens?
The Ministry of Manpower pays special attention to ensuring the full employment of the national workforce. We’ve worked to link the available employment opportunities in the private sector to the national workforce. One of the measures implemented to make the private sector more attractive was raising the minimum wage $844 per month in July 2013. This granted private sector employees an annual increase of about three percent of the basic salary. Weekly working hours were also reduced to 45 hours per week. Private sector holidays were matched with those of the public sector and the retirement benefits of the private sector employees were also improved.
In which sectors does the Ministry of Manpower intend to stop the recruitment of expatriate workers?
The procedures being adopted to regulate and enhance the employment of Omani citizens in private firms include the establishment of sectorial committees for Omanisation with tripartite representation, employers, workers and the government. Accordingly, the total number of Omani wage earners in the private sector increased from 98,537 in 2005 to 224,698 in 2013, with an annual rate of increase of 10.9 percent.
There are no targeted sectors. The ministry has notified all private companies and establishments that the labour law will be fully implemented. Any breach will result in a monetary fine and a ban on the company or the establishment for one year.
How does the Ministry of Manpower encourage the training of Omanis, particularly in the oil and gas industry?
In addition to the programmes provided for citizens in various governorates through technical colleges and the government’s vocational training centres, the ministry has signed agreements with private vocational training institutions, particularly in oil and gas, construction, tourism and trade. The ministry is keen on co-operating with companies to train Omani job seekers and qualify them at the skill levels required by the welding, metal works, construction and other related sectors.
What priorities has the Ministry of Manpower identified for 2014 to develop Oman’s overall labour market?
Among the top priorities is improving employment opportunities for job-seekers and the stability of the national workforce in the private sector. We will also continue our efforts to promote the output of colleges of technology and vocational training centres, in accordance with the education and training quality requirements needed by the labour market.
In addition, the ministry will provide all the necessary measures that will help in promoting the role of small- and medium-sized enterprises and in providing jobs for Omani workers as employers and as self-employed workers.