This week the spotlight is on legal and regulatory developments in Oman, where the Sultanate’s Manpower Ministry has announced it has launched an updated version of its automatic updates licensing service on Omanisation in firms. The new system provides Omanisation rate indicators electronically and has a colour coding system. Green means the target has been achieved while yellow means the firm is 50% of the way towards meeting the target. Red means the target is not being met at all. The aim is to improve Omanisation rates in the Sultanate. The rates will be displayed when firms submit work permit applications and will affect the speed of work permits being issued in the case of those firms categorised as green or yellow. If a firm is categorised as red it will be shut down.
Elsewhere, according to local newspaper reports, the Manpower Ministry has announced employees in three sectors will have to agree to alcohol and drug tests. The oil and gas, port and airport and electricity and water sectors are affected. The aim is to increase workplace safety in these sectors and amends occupational health and safety provisions.
Under the amendments, employers must proactively ensure workplace facilities are alcohol and drug free. They may also carry out unannounced searches on company property and managers will be able to decide when a search or screening process may be carried out. In a separate development, the Oman Society for Petroleum Services has announced they are preparing to introduce guidelines to require their members to put policies and procedures in place to enforce this new regulation.