Times of Oman
Nov 25, 2015 LAST UPDATED AT 05:13 AM GMT
Employer’s decision to deny medical benefits to former employee is justifiable, not unfair: Oman Legal Expert
August 10, 2014 | 12:00 AM
For illustrative purpose only. Photo - Alex Proimos via Flickr.com under Creative Commons License

I am an expatriate worker suing my former employer for unfair dismissal.  I am still on their visa. Am I entitled to medical insurance from the company? They have refused to give me the medical insurance card as I am no longer their employee, but legally they are still my sponsor (I was in a management position). If I want to change my sponsor, will that have any negative impact on my case against them? 

Though you are still on the company's sponsorship, you are not working for the employer any longer. An employer normally provides perks and benefits to those who work for them and we need to identify any benevolent employer who would provide medical insurance to an employee who is waging a legal war against the employer. You are in the country only because of a dispute you have with the former employer and not for the benefit of the employer. So the employer's decision denying medical coverage for you is justifiable and not unfair. Change of sponsorship will not affect your ongoing litigation if you are really able to do that. But how can that be achieved in a unilateral manner?

I have joined a construction company in Oman recently. This company has cancelled visas of many people after three months and deducted OMR150 from their settlement amount as labour card charges and didn't even provide them flight tickets. Is this fair towards the employees?

It is highly unfair for any employer to do such things, but in reality such things are happening every day. Inability of an employer to get sufficient business to engage workers is not an excuse for terminating employees and then penalising them with the resident card and visa fees and repatriation cost.

It is the responsibility of the employer to repatriate all expatriate employees at its sole cost and responsibility. Also, there is no provision in the law to deduct the resident card and visa expenses from an employee unless specifically agreed between the parties.

You need to approach the Ministry of Manpower to put an end to such practices and to blacklist the company from further recruiting expatriates. You should also address the matter to your country's embassy so that the company would be prevented from bringing more people from your country to Oman.

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