Oman


Oman expatriate labour ban: Curbs on expats will hit growth, say businessmen


The ‘two-year ban’ means that even if there is a highly qualified candidate for a job, that person cannot immediately join the company that wants to hire him or her.

Muscat: While a host of new restrictions on Oman's expatriate workforce have been welcomed in many quarters, some business leaders in Oman have sounded a note of caution, saying the cumulative effect of the rulings could be negative.

The government is seeking to reduce the expat labour force to 33 per cent and a set of new rules has been introduced, including one that expat workers cannot bring their spouses or children to Oman before six months of service.

Also, hiring expats for the construction sector or as domestic staff has been banned and hiring expat women in many sectors has been restricted.

Negative effect
Arvind Bindra, chief executive officer of Al Maha Ceramics, believes that these restrictions would negatively affect the development of the country in the long run.

If an employee faces restrictions here, he or she will opt to work in another country, Bindra told the Times of Oman. "And when it comes to skilled employees, it means the country would be losing its talented workers."

The 'two-year ban' means that even if there is a highly qualified candidate for a job, that person cannot immediately join the company that wants to hire him or her.

Commenting on restrictions on bringing family members that have been imposed on expatriate workers, he said it is not fair that employees should wait for six months before they can bring their spouse and children. It is also not very easy to find skilled Omanis in the manufacturing sector, Bindra said. "There are good local talents available in the service sector, but not in the manufacturing sector. And training them takes time."

He added that such curbs would have negative effect on the growth in Oman.

Qualified workforce
"We export a lot to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, Lebanon, and other states. If we cannot get the workforce that is qualified to do the job, the country will lose export revenues at the end of the day."

Fazil Kutty, managing director of Al Ajwakh Trading LLC, believes that restrictions on family joining visas are putting extra burden on employees and will tie their hands and affect the performance of workers as well.

Such constraints limit the companies' options, Kutty said, adding that similar rules are less strict in Dubai where much more business is taking place.
 
"I do not know why these restrictions are set by the government. They are beneficial neither to the employer nor the employee," he added.

Another leading businessman, who asked not to be named, said that he agrees with some of the  restrictions but is against some others.

"The two-year ban is very good for the country. I am supporting it because when a company spends time and money providing financial support and training for an employee, it should be ensured that it will reap the benefits of the training."

However, he said that he is against restrictions on the issuance of family visas. "Employees cannot be happy if their families are not staying with them. It affects their performance."

The businessman also said that it is not convenient for the companies either because employees who stay away from their families would tend to apply frequently for leave to visit their families and the companies are not always able to give them the permission.

Women important
"They will definitely be more relaxed if their families are here."

On restrictions on the issuance of employment visa for female expatriates, he said that female workers are 'important' and should be part of the labour market in Oman. "You cannot hire only male applicants. Also women are a better fit for some jobs."

However, some kind of restrictions should be there because some companies do not have a good reputation, he added.

To get in touch with the reporter elham@timesofoman.com

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One question?

What about the peoples who resigned from their jobs between 2 years period before July 1. Like one of my friend did in March 2014.





How long the restriction will be applicable in female visas to apply for a job?




This law gives position of blackmail to employers when it comes to pay increase as promised, on time pay , and on time promotion as promised ...employees only shit to other companies when promises of financial benefits are not met by employers




Dear Sir/Madam, I am from India and working here. My designation is Sales Executive. Does the Designation matter for Bringing my Parents to Oman on a Visit Visa? I have actually applied for a Visit Visa for my Parents and it was rejected from ROP. Please let me know that, there is any Designation requirement for the Visit Visa.




By putting such restrictions in place, Oman may be putting itself in non-favorable countires list for expats. Also Oman does not have workforce, to take up either labour work or intellegent work.




How will Kids of the Employee cope up with their Studies if he changes jobs & cannot bring them back for 6 months. Will they miss school and studies for 6 months?? They really need to rethink this. . How does this rule help Omani labour. On the opposite, there will be less spending in Oman & loss for the economy. Also Oman will loosing experienced and skilled labour to countries like Dubai, which does not have such rules.




Is it applicable to visit visa also?




From businessmans perspective there are 2 dimensions; "A." If he appoints well skilled & experienced expat directly from another country, then there is a lot of time, efforts and expenses involved in recruitment & training process till the employee gets experienced in local market."B." If he appoints an experienced expat from another company locally then there is no effort or cost involved. If B company appoints an expat from A company after the expat completed say 3 years then A company is not in loss, since the A company has already reaped the benefits from that expat. But if B company appoints that expat after just say 1 or 2 years then probably the A company is likely to incur a loss and it could be called as Employee Poaching. From employees perspective:If an expat leaves a job after working for say 5 years because the employer failed to recognize the effects put in by employee & kept on exploiting him by not paying salary on time / reducing salary instead of increasing / pressing hard to finish others work which will spoil any personal or family life ...... etc. then does anyone thinks that obtaining a NOC under such conditions is possible? There should also be a rule that if an expat is terminated illegally then he/she must be entitled to get a NOC by law, just like one is entitled to get experience certificate.The beneficiaries of this new law will only be the business tycoons & top executive branch who might be less than 5% of the workforce. This law will lead to a situation where within just a few years time we will see the 95% of expat workforce in miserable condition.




Restrition shud be till only on visa date expiry.every body knws all company have internally to much restriction.its will be always lossing points brain drain ,atleast 6 mnth .so that both side equal pain.me now unlucky i have just 43 days.so my family status will be now like lottery for 1.6 yrs ,i hope it will be reduced.





If Omanies are so competent then where they were 10-15 years ago when Oman was required competent workforce to develop their country.The day is nor far when crises like Bahrain, Iraq and like other countries are to be faced created by their own people.




I agree on NOC only to a small extend. Issuing NOC clearly depends on the employer. I see this new law as an arm twisting phenomena from big Corporate’s. I don’t see a rational link between this 2 yr ban favouring Omanisation. From the human rights point of view, every person has a right to work towards his well being. If a company is concerned of labour turnover, then the company should find ways to improve the working atmosphere. Employees are the strength of every company. The model i would prescribe is that the Company grows with the employee. The UAE model is also acceptable. It should be a win-win decision.




In all these cases I would like to mention to all employers that "employees do not leave companies they leave BOSSES" and bossology is at its top in this economy, try to create and hunt for leaders only to keep labour turnover low and to add value in developing economy.





I agree on NOC only to a small extend. Issuing NOC clearly depends on the employer. I see this new law as an arm twisting phenomena from big corporates. From the human rights point of view, every person has a right to work towards his well being.If a company is concerned of labour turnover, then the company should find ways to improve the working atmosphere. Employees are the strength of every company. The model i would prescribe is that the Company grows with the employee. The UAE model is also acceptable. It should be a win-win decision.





I agree on NOC only to a small extend. Issuing NOC clearly depends on the employer. I see this new law as an arm twisting phenomena from big corporates. From the human rights point of view, every person has a right to work towards his well being.If a company is concerned of labour turnover, then the company should find ways to improve the working atmosphere. Employees are the strength of every company. The model i would prescribe is that the Company grows with the employee. The UAE model is also acceptable. It should be a win-win decision.




What exactly are the restrictions on women?


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