Workers in Oman advised to spend Eid salary wisely
June 17, 2017 | 8:51 PM
by Times News Service
People should avoid overspending during Eid as they will get next salary after 40 days at least

Muscat: Workers who receive salaries early thanks to Eid have been warned to follow a budget as they’ll have to wait for 40 days until their next pay day.

The Ministry of Manpower (MoM) has ordered that all private sector employees in Oman be paid by June 20 at the latest, so that people can enjoy Eid celebrations with their families.

Eid holidays announced for public and private sectors in Oman

With paychecks dropping into accounts 10 days early, workers will face a long wait until the next one, prompting advisors to warn that people should follow a budget, and avoid overspending.

Sheikh Hilal Al Rashdi, advisor at the Ministry of Endowments and Religious Affairs said: “My advice to people is they should do proper budgeting and then spend. I have a budget for electricity, water and utilities in general; also for food and other expenses, and so I will not use the budget for electricity until the bill comes. Keep aside some money for your future needs, think of this time of Eid as a state of emergency, where you need more money than usual, but spend some in Eid and keep an amount for family needs later, because you never know.”

“Now you are getting the salary earlier by 10 days, but keep in mind the next one will come after 40 days.”

“I would advise people to read Surah Yusuf from the Holy Quran. It explains how you should budget yourself. It is my advice: ‘don’t be a borrower, rather be a lender,” Al Rashdi said.

Dr Mohammed Al Zadjali, head of the Legal Committee at the Shura Council, said: “I applaud this strategic approach by the ministry, which recognises the significance and needs of its people, as the occasion demands that each person should be provided the means to celebrate the joyful occasion of Eid in a grand way. It’s a welcome and forward- looking step towards having an employee–friendly work environment.

“This decision will support employees, encourage skills and create future growth. Hence, I urge every private employer to take the necessary steps and cooperate. I urge employees to be careful with their spending habits, because although they are getting their salaries earlier, there are a lot of expenses during Eid, and the next salary is going to come after 40 days, so its better if people spend carefully and not all at once,” said Al Zadjali.

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P Chandrasekr, group general manager, Jawad Sultan Group of Companies, said: “Receiving one’s salary earlier during festivities is indeed welcome. However, one should be mindful that we will be prone to spending more during joyous occasions, such as Eid. Moderation in everything important as otherwise one will have to land in a cash-out situation during the next month. As they say... enjoy, but, do not go overboard.”

An HR manager of a private company said: “It means employees will end up spending their salaries too soon. We should have been allowed to give advances to only those who have genuine high expenditures during Eid.”

The ministry has said its inspection teams will check whether companies follow the order. MoM has also warned that private companies will be “fined” if they don’t comply with the order. OCCI member Ahmed Al Hooti said many companies will now have to approach the bank for a “loan.”

“I think, this decision should be kept among the employees and the employer without pushing the companies.”

Mohammed Shafiqul Islam Bhuiyan, GM of New Star International Travel and Tour LLC, added that the decision, though good, should not be a forced one. “A large number of companies will face difficulties in giving their employees their salaries by June 20,” he said.

However, Darren Tong, chief executive officer, Integrated Telecommunications Oman, said they will be paying their employees before Eid. “We do this every year for our employees and this year will be no exception,” he said.

Citing problems in cash flow, a senior official at a private company said: “A lot of companies will face problems because they have plans, which are drawn up months in advance. With this sudden decision they will have to rethink many issues.”

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