Muscat: A six-month ban on expat workers in certain sectors has been imposed to regulate and re-classify some companies, according to the Ministry of Manpower (MoM).
Read here: Expats in Oman get six-month jobs ban for 'learning centres'
“There will be a halt in permits given to non-Omani labour force, who work in learning and development centres for six months,” according to a ministerial decree issued on Sunday by Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Abdullah Al Bakri, Minister of Manpower.
The affected sectors include nursery activities, training services, Quran schools, vocational training centres, administrative training institutes, human resources development, language and computer teaching institutes, specialised rehabilitation centres, and older persons and special needs homes, according to the Ministry of Commerce.
In January, the Ministry of Commerce had asked companies in these sectors to migrate to new, more specific categories. Those that did so, or those who registered companies under the proper classification originally, can still hire expat labour.
The new ruling relates to those, who have yet to re-classify, according to officials.
They have now been told they cannot hire expat workers for six months so that those already in place can be re-classified by the Manpower Ministry under the proper category.
An official from the Ministry clarified yesterday’s decree, stating: “The decision by the ministry is aimed at regulating the activities and labourers in learning and development centres.”
Khamis bin Abdullah Al Farisi, director general of Commerce at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, said: “The ministry aims to organise the field of ‘developing of mental skills’ to be more specialised in cooperation with the Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Social Development.”
The Director General of Commerce also confirmed that, “Other more detailed and specialised activities have been made available in the field of mental skills development: nursery activities, training services, Quran schools, vocational training centres, administrative training institutes, human resources development, language and computer teaching institutes, specialised rehabilitation centres, older persons and special needs homes.”
There is also a group formed by the MoCI that is currently visiting all the centres to monitor their work and inventory; to distinguish between the active and inactive centres and help them adjust to the new category within the rules.
One nursery owner in Muscat said: “This decision does not affect me because my nurseries have always been specified under ‘nursery activity’ and not under ‘development of mental skills.”