Employer is not bound to provide medical assistance to employee’s dependents: Oman legal expert

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I am working with one of the leading companies in Oman. I am entitled to full medical coverage but my family does not have this privilege. Please advise if  there is a specific law that the family too must get medical facility. This will be of great help for employees with no medical assistance for families.

The labour law mandates that every employer should provide medical facilities to the employees and all such medical facilities with the exception of costs for dental, ophthalmic and maternity treatment shall be provided free of cost (Article 33). The law does not say anything about facilities to be provided by an employer to the dependents of employees.

In my considered opinion, it is not within the purview of the labour law as it only concerns employees and not dependents.

Nevertheless, nothing stops an employer from granting facilities and benefits over and above the minimum prescribed by law to its employees and their immediate family members. There are several employers in Oman who provide all-round medical benefits (including dental and optical devices) to their employees. Unfortunately, you are not among the lucky ones to have a magnanimous and generous employer. So, there is no other way, you have to be content with what you are getting today.

I am working in Sohar. My wife went to India in the first week of May for delivery of our child. She is expected to come back in November or December. Can she enter the country without any problems?

An expatriate losing his/her right to reenter the country if he/she stays abroad for more than 180 days is applicable only to those resident visa holders who are employed in Oman. This rule is not applicable to those who are on dependent visas. Those who possess investor status in the country are also exempted from this rule. So, there will be no problem for your wife to reenter the country in November or December 2014. Please ensure that her visa and resident permit are valid and do not expire before the expected date of arrival.

Times of Oman, in association with Khalifa Al Hinai Legal Consultants, will answer the legal queries of readers every Monday.

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Disclaimer: Opinions expressed in this column are for general guidance purposes only. They are based on facts presented to us and are not substituted for expert legal advice. Readers are advised to seek legal assistance for specific legal issues. Times of Oman and Khalifa Al Hinai Advocates & Legal Consultancy do not assume  any responsibility towards anyone on this matter.


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