Oman: Unified Contracts Initiative

Oman News developments

Oman: Unified Contracts Initiative

Oman Daily Observer, 25 July 2023: A new Oman Labour Law, Oman Sultani Decree No. 53/2023 has been issued.

The law repeals and replaces Oman Sultani Decree No. 35/2003. It reaffirms that employment is an intrinsic right for Omanis and states no other are allowed to work in the country except in accordance with the laws and related decisions. It underlines the importance of employers having a plan for localisation which is published in their workplace and website. They will also be required to produce a report on Omani workers including their salaries, gender and information on job vacancies. Employers must also have a plan on appointing and training Omanis for leadership roles.

Joint Dialogue Committee will be established which will examine proposals for regulating the labour market.

It contains provisions on working hours, leave, salaries, employment of young people, and occupational health and safety. It also covers the settlement of labour disputes, trade unions and penalties.

A number of provisions have been put in place to support women workers including the allocation of an hour a day for child care, a 98 day maternity leave provision, and the right to take unpaid leave for up to a year for childcare reasons.

There is also now seven day paternity leave and a 15 day caregiver leave – where an employee needs to accompany a patient. Sick leave levels have also been increased.

In workplaces with more than 25 workers, a special rest place must be provided for women.

Employees will be entitled to up to 182 days sick leave, subject to certain conditions. Full pay will be given for the first day to the 21st day; 75 per cent of salary for 22nd to 35th; 50 per cent for 36th to 70th; and 35 per cent for 71st to 182nd day.

Workplaces in specific sectors will be able to be organised in such a way that is unique to the conditions of that sector. Employers will also be allowed to let their employees work temporarily for another employer.

The law allows non-Omani employees’ employment to be terminated if this is in order to facilitate Omanisation and the employee replacing them is an Omani. There are also provisions on termination of an employee who fails to achieve required productivity levels. Employers are required to put an appraisal system in place.

Fifteen days of study leave will be granted to employees enrolled in schools, institutes, or universities.

Female Muslim workers will also be entitled to 130 days of leave in case of their husband’s death; while a non-Muslim woman would be granted 14 days.

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Tanya Jain