Oman: Private Sector May Terminate Expats, Retain Omanis

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The Supreme Committee tasked with handling the developments of coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic approved a set of incentives to support the private sector and its manpower.

According to the package, private sector firms and establishments have to maintain the stability of their Omani manpower (workers) and must not terminate their services. According to the package of incentives, private sector establishments and firms have to:

  • Revamp their system of functioning.
  • Use modern technology and apply online work to limit the assembling of workers.
  • Provide enough space between employees at the workplace and manpower residence.
  • Give paid leave with full salary to workers during the period of health isolation and Stay-at-Home period provided a “certificate on the end of quarantine period” be issued by the departments concerned.
  • Affected private sector establishments and firms may offer advanced paid annual leaves for their workers in sectors that have been shut down
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Under the current conditions, affected private sector establishments may negotiate to lower the salaries of their workers for a period of three months in return for a reduction of duty hours after the expiry of outstanding days of an employee’s paid leave.

If necessary, this system will begin to be applied with effect from May 2020.

For Omani manpower whose salaries are lowered, their bank loans will be postponed, and so shall their financing loans during the salary reduction period. Their loans will be rescheduled and allowed to be paid back without interest or additional fees. Their electricity and water bills will be postponed until the end of June 2020.

For Non-Omani manpower: Their respective annual leave may be advanced and paid in full if they operate in the sectors terminally shut down. Expatriate workers of affected private sector establishments and firms can be terminally repatriated to their respective countries, according to the package agreed by the Supreme Committee and establishments and firms of the private sector.

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Incentives offered by the Government to private sector establishments and firms also include:

  • Reduction of renewal fees of expatriate workers’ labour cards from its date (today, April 15) to the end of June 2020, from OMR301 to OMR201.
  • Exemption from fees, waiving of delay fines and extension of expat manpower’s licenses during this period.
  • Approval of preliminary work permits for expat manpower for partial use or temporary use.
  • Possibility of secondment of workers of any private establishment to work in time of emergency for another establishment.
  • Allowing affected private sector establishments to terminate the contracts of their non-Omani workers provided these establishments adhere to the payment of all the dues of the laid-off workers before their terminal departure from the Sultanate.

 

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