Wages protection system to safeguard workers’ rights

Oman Sunday 09/July/2023 22:00 PM
By: Times News Service
Wages protection system to safeguard workers’ rights

MUSCAT: The endeavour and efforts by the Sultanate of Oman to safeguard rights of workers have been strengthened by the decision to implement the electronic Wages Protection System (WPS) in private sector establishments.

The Ministry of Labour (MoL) on Sunday issued a circular giving private sector companies a time frame for the implementation of the WPS.

In an official tweet, the MoL said that “in accordance with the Ministerial Decree No (299/2023), all private sector establishments are mandated to implement the Wages Protection System.”

Effective from 10 July, 2023, these establishments are required to regularise their status in alignment with the WPS and the time frame mentioned varies from eight to six months for different company sizes.

While the decision will be effective from July 10 for all, the time frame for large and medium size companies will be six months to streamline their status.

Small and micro companies have been provided a time frame of eight months to correct their status with 50 percent of the status correction to be completed within four months.

These regulations underscore the government’s commitment to ensuring a just and equitable workplace.

The WPS introduction will ensure the secure and efficient disbursement of wages, allowing private sector employees to receive their salaries directly into their designated bank accounts.

 By facilitating timely and accurate payments, the system aligns with the terms outlined in employees’ contracts, promoting financial stability and trust between employers and workers.

Under the new regulations, employers are obligated to transfer employees’ wages to authorised local banks within a maximum of seven days from the due date. 

This process is facilitated through the user-friendly salary information file of the WPS, simplifying and expediting wage disbursements.

To ensure effective implementation and compliance, the concerned MoL department will oversee the electronic system, monitoring wage disbursements in the private sector. Through diligent enforcement of these regulations, this dedicated team aims to guarantee that employees receive their rightful earnings and that employers fulfill their payment obligations.

Employers are also required to promptly inform the Ministry of any changes to employees’ wages, ensuring that the

registered wages accurately reflect the actual amounts received. This measure promotes transparency and accountability, fostering a fair work environment that upholds the rights of all workers.

While the utilisation of the electronic WPS is mandatory, a few exceptions have been made. These exceptions include cases of labour disputes leading to work cessation, voluntary termination of employment without legal justification, employment of new workers within the initial 30 days, and employees on unpaid leave.

Non-compliance with the newly implemented regulations may result in administrative penalties, implemented by the ministry in a progressive manner. Initially, violators will receive a warning, followed by the suspension of services related to preliminary work permits. Repeated violations may incur an administrative fine of OMR 50, with subsequent offences facing doubled fines.