Muscat: Employers recruiting expats from overseas must obtain a permit from the Ministry of Manpower (MoM) in order to legally employ them, under the current laws of Oman.
Moreover, expats seeking jobs in the Sultanate must abide by the rules and regulations mentioned in the Labour Act of the country, said top lawyers.
In a series of articles about Oman’s rules and regulations, entitled “Know Oman”, experts guide readers on their rights and responsibilities while working and living in Oman.
Speaking exclusively to the Times of Oman, representatives of Mohammed Ibrahim Law Firm, a leading legal office in Oman, explained the requirements both employer and employee must fulfil to be legally employed in the Sultanate.
“The general rule is described in article 18 of the Labour Act that regulates the conditions and requirements for both employer and employee.
“The first part of article 18 states that the employer is prohibited from bringing forward non-Omani workers unless he has obtained a permit from the MoM,” said Dr. Mohammed Ibrahim Al Zadjali, Chairman of Mohammed Ibrahim Law Firm.
He added that there are three conditions defined in the article to which the grant of the permit is subject to. “The first condition is that there is no sufficient Omani workforce for the particular post or occupation. Second, the employer complies with the prescribed percentage of Omanisation, and lastly, payment of the determined fees to get the permit,” Al Zadjali explained.
Talking about the second part of article 18, another spokesperson of the law firm said it defines the requirements expats need to complete and be aware of.
“As stated in the second part of article 18, a non-Omani is prohibited from joining any company in the Sultanate before obtaining a labour card, the grant of which is also subject to certain conditions,” the spokesperson said.
“It includes professional competence/technical skills and qualifications needed for the posted job, and if the employer has obtained the permit from MoM as mentioned earlier. It also includes whether the expat has entered the Sultanate legally and has fulfilled the residence conditions, and has met all the medical requirements specified by the Ministry of Health.
He added that the expat needs to make sure he/she has entered into an employment contract with the company that is duly registered at the Ministry of Commerce and has all the necessary licences, and finally, the payment of the determined fees to obtain a labour card.
“It is to be noted that the labour card will be granted upon the request of the employer. Expat employees can’t apply for the residence card without an official notice from his/her employer,” the expert emphasised.
“Once the expat worker is recruited by an authorised company, he/she can’t work for another company, as is it is prohibited by the law of the country.
“Article 18 bis of the Labour Act clearly states that neither the employer has the permission to let any of his/her foreign workers work for another company nor are the employers eligible to employ other foreign workers who are authorised to work for another employer or who are residing illegally in the Sultanate,” the expert said. The penalties and procedures of the notification associated with the mentioned Labour Act will be analysed in the next article.
Mohammed Ibrahim Law Firm ([email protected]) was established 11 years ago and is serving clients through its offices in Muscat and Sohar, as well as operating on a request basis in other areas, such as Duqm.
It offers legal representation across a wide range of practice areas that include labour law, corporate, commercial, contracts, banking and finance, international trade, foreign investment, insurance, maritime law, construction and engineering contracts, international arbitration, intellectual property and more.