The labor law in Oman was issued with the approval of the Sultan. The Ministry of Manpower is one of the most important bodies that influence the labor laws in Oman. Oman is a state of sultanate of Oman and an Arab country in southwest Asia on the south east cost of the Arabian peninsula. The sultan is the head of the country that takes care of the council of Ministers and issues and ratifies laws of the state (De Bel-Air 2015).
Initially the labor law was formed in the year 1973 and since then it has been amended many times. In accordance with the policy of government of the work force, the labor law has listed many positions in which the foreign nationals cannot be employed as technical assistants, lights vehicle and other workers. The Oman Labor law was changed in the year 2010 to allow the formation of labor unions. Presently there are more than seventy labor Unions within the State. The law restrains a strike for any kind of collective bargaining. However, there are labor committees to solve any issues that take place within workers. The committees are not authorized to discuss the conditions of employment such as hours of work and wages. The Labor welfare Board provides a venue for such grievances (Al-Shogairat et al. 2017).
General provisions of Labor law
As per the Oman Labor law, employer means and includes any natural person or corporate body that employee’s more than one employee in exchange of salary. Employee means and includes any natural person who works in return of salary with an employer and under the management and supervision of the employer. There are four types of work that fall under the Oman Labor laws.
As per the general provision of Oman Labor law, the provision is that the given law is not applicable to persons in the army, police or government officials. Moreover, the law shall also not be applicable to persons who live in the family and is dependent on the family for his living. This means that the law shall not apply to domestic servants and workers who work as household assistants and such people do not fall under the scope of work or business. The law shall not be applied to all or some of the categories of the Sultan. All employers and employee shall be subject to the provisions of the law except otherwise stated. Also subject to the law are people who belong to all kind of establishments, subsidiaries and organisations who practice their activities within the state of Oman (Giumelli and Roozendaal 2017).
The law gives power to the workers from not suffering any kind of reduction in the standards and conditions of work under which they were employed before the labor law was established and applied, as long as the worker continued to work in the service of his employer once the date on which the provisions of the law became applicable. The right of the worker to make the claims as per the given law is fortified after two years since the time has elapsed from the date on which the claim was entitled. The two year period was to be calculated from the date of publication (Dewan and Ronconi 2018).
As per the law, there is nothing stated in the law that is to prevent and employer initiating schemes as per which workers can obtain benefits than those calculated or providing them other advantages on entering into a contract with them. In case there is a conflict between one of the schemes or agreement, then any condition that gives the worker the benefit shall prevail. The Ministry can create labor offices based on their locations. The offices shall offer their services in the absence of recompense to employers and workers so that the law is implemented (Davies and Vadlamannati 2017).
As per the general provision of Oman Labor law, the provision is that the given law is not applicable to persons in the army, police or government officials. Moreover, the law shall also not be applicable to persons who live in the family and is dependent on the family for his living. This means that the law shall not apply to domestic servants and workers who work as household assistants and such people do not fall under the scope of work or business. The law shall not be applied to all or some of the categories of the Sultan. All employers and employee shall be subject to the provisions of the law except otherwise stated. Also subject to the law are people who belong to all kind of establishments, subsidiaries and organisations who practice their activities within the state of Oman (Mehta 2017).
The Minister can appoint directors, inspectors and other officials as labors as and when needed for the purpose of implementing a law. Moreover, a decision from the minister can also be issued removing the sphere from authority. Anyone who is part of the Ministry can be given the authority to assume powers and to carry out the duties in relation to the subject matter of the law. Such kind of authorization can be given only by the ministerial decree.
The labor director, inspector and other officials can sometimes on the instructions of their supervisors perform the following duties:
- Have the authority to enter places of work so that they may proceed with their examination and inspection of papers and ledgers that is related to the work and to provide statements from the employers or those who act in their favor.
- Request the building and other establishments in which the workers stay to be kept neat and healthy.
- Request the employer to facilitate the attendance of the worker in his term of employment and to present documents on records pertaining to the worker
- Collect information from the employer or any other person who is acting for him on any issue pertaining to the implementation of the provision of the law (De Bel-Air 2015)
Control of the workers:
- Any national person who is fit and wants to work should ask for his name to registered in the labor office that is located near his residence. The person should present his age, qualifications and other work preferences for the purpose of registration. These offices should record the applications and at the same time they should be submitted as and when needed. The applicant should be given a certificate of registration that is free of charge. The minister of information shall issue a decision and the certificate shall include the same (Al-Shogairat et al. 2017).
The function of the labor office with connection to the employment includes:
- Obtaining a notice of vacancies from the employers
- Refer applications for proper vacancies
- To give proper advice and assistance on the vocational training that is available to applicants so that they can easily be employed when vacancies are opened to them.
The labor law of Oman is a very wide topic and not all the provisions were covered in the above discussion. However, some major points were laid above. Compliance to the laws becomes a very crucial part of the law and any employer who is found not complying with the laws of the state shall be punished with a fine that is equal to fifty percent of the average and total amount of income. Thus, the employers are to comply with the laws of Oman in a very strict manner (Giumelli and Roozendaal 2017).
Al-Shogairat, F.M., Abuhilaleh, I.M., Bdour, N.T. and Krishan, A.H., 2017. The Subordination Coalition and Its Effects in the Labor Law Efficacy on the Relationship between Worker and Employer in the Jordanian Legalization. J. Pol. & L., 10, p.69.
Davies, R.B. and Vadlamannati, K.C., 2017. A race to the bottom in labor standards? An empirical investigation.
De Bel-Air, F., 2015. Demography, migration, and the labor market in Oman.
Dewan, S. and Ronconi, L., 2018. US Free Trade Agreements and Enforcement of Labor Law in Latin America. Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, 57(1), pp.35-56.
Giumelli, F. and van Roozendaal, G., 2017. Trade agreements and labor standards clauses: Explaining labor standards developments through a qualitative comparative analysis of US free trade agreements. Global Social Policy, 17(1), pp.38-61.
Mehta, S.R., 2017. Contesting victim narratives: Indian women domestic workers in Oman. Migration and Development, 6(3), pp.395-411.