In this series of articles about Oman’s rules and regulations, “Know Oman”, experts will guide our readers through their rights and responsibilities, while working and living in the Sultanate.
Muscat: Nationals working in the private sector in Oman are entitled to receive an annual increment in their basic salary under the law.
Speaking exclusively to the Times of Oman, a representative of Mohammed Ibrahim Law Firm, a leading legal office in Oman, clarified the annual increment Omani employees are entitled to.
“Ministerial Decision no. 541/2013 issued and effective from 6 October 2013, provides for mandatory annual increases of at least three per cent in basic salaries for Omani nationals working in private sector establishments,” said Dr. Mohammed Ibrahim Al Zadjali, Chairman of Mohammed Ibrahim Law Firm.
“The mandatory salary increment is applicable only for Omani employees. As for expats, it is at the discretion of the company,” he added.
Another expert from the law firm explained the conditions of receiving an annual increment.
“This increment shall be payable on the 1st of January every year to those employees who have completed at least six months with the employer, and who has a good annual performance report.
“Employees who have been rated as underperforming in their annual appraisal may not be eligible to receive such annual increments,” the expert added.
“The mode to evaluate an employee’s performance is not mentioned in the ministerial decision.
However, the evaluation of their performance shall be through a proper method and keeping all the records throughout the year.
The employer shall not decide the subject matter arbitrarily.
There shall be records to prove that the particular employee is underperforming,” the expert explained.
The Oman Ministry of Manpower (MoM) is keen to observe that the benefits provided by law to employees are promptly received, according to a spokesperson of the law firm.
“Many of the company owners have doubts about whether they can stop the mandatory yearly increase of salary for local employees if the company is running at a loss.
“It is not at all grounds to stop providing any of the mandatory or agreed benefits to the employee, whatever financial crisis the company faces.
“Whatever is agreed in the employment contract must be paid and provided to the employee, irrespective of the financial condition of the company.
The employer cannot override the terms and conditions of an employment agreement without the written consent of the employee,” the spokesperson said.
“In case of violation of the decision, the employee can go to the dispute department at MoM and file a case against the employer.
The ministry will then take up the matter and address it to the company.” If the company fails to comply with MoM, the case will be taken to the labour court, assuring the employee is given his rights, according to the expert.
“Once the verdict is out and the company agrees to pay all the dues, the court will keep a check on the company, making sure it’s abiding by the decision,” he added.
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 many more.