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Expats in Oman worry over layoffs in oil, gas sector
November 13, 2015 | 10:19 PM
by REJIMON K/[email protected]
The ministerial committee formed by the Council of Ministers to look into layoffs in oil and gas sector has said that expats can be terminated from contracts that have expired or from contracts that are reduced in scope.
 
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Also read: Terminate expats from expired contracts, say Oman ministerial committee

Muscat: Expatriate workers in the oil and gas sector are worried over the latest statement issued by a committee formed to discuss layoffs in the oil and gas sector. The ministerial committee formed by the Council of Ministers to look into layoffs in oil and gas sector has said that expats can be terminated from contracts that have expired or from contracts that are reduced in scope.

“At present, we have jobs. However, we are worried whether the contract will be renewed or not as the future of the oil sector looks gloomy,” an expatriate worker said. “Many have already started looking for jobs in neighbouring countries,” the workers added. Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Oman Oil and Gas Trade Union was unwilling to comment on the subject.

Following the slump in global oil prices since 2014, at least 1,000 Omani workers have been laid off. A few days ago, in the latest in a series of layoffs, around 700 Omani workers were served termination letters by a company. Meanwhile, a statement issued by the government committee has urged companies to appoint Omanis in place of expats at any other contracts won by the company, while taking into consideration the matching of experience and efficiencies in the replacement programme.



The government committee was formed after the trade unions in oil and gas sector announced a strike over layoffs. Details of agreement are below: After detailed discussions on the proposed solutions and their effect on the national economy and the development of national manpower and in a bid to create a healthy environment that attracts investments in the private sector, an agreement has been reached with the stakeholders on the measures that should be taken by these companies.

They are as follows:



First: sub-contractors/the contractors First: sub-contractors/the contractors, who had sub-contracts from the main contractors. Before taking any decision to reduce national manpower, they should comply with the following procedures

1. Terminate expatriate workers, who have expired contracts or contracts whose scope has been reduced.

2. Appoint national manpower in place of expatriate workers at any other contracts won by the company while taking into consideration the matching of experiences and efficiencies in the replacement program.

3. Submit to the main contractor an exhaustive list detailing the national manpower that could not be absorbed.

The list should show the employee's details, practical experience and academic qualifications. It should also include data on the expatriates whose services have been terminated.

Second: Main contractors The main contractors are those, who have been awarded direct contracts from the production companies, and should follow the following procedures before taking any decision to reduce national manpower:

1. Terminate expatriate workers, who have expired contracts or contracts, whose scope has been reduced.

2. Appoint the national manpower in place of the expatriate workers for any other contracts won by the company while taking into consideration the matching of experiences and efficiencies in the replacement program.

3. Revise the procedures the sub-contractor has to follow to reduce the number of national manpower to ensure that they meet the said requirements and to appoint the national manpower in place of the expatriate workers at the company businesses or for any other sub- contracts won by the company while taking into consideration the matching of experiences and efficiencies in the replacement program. 4. Submit to the production company an exhaustive list detailing the national manpower that could not be absorbed.

The list should show the employee's details, practical experience and academic qualifications. It should also include data on the expatriates, whose services have been terminated.

Third: Oil and Gas Production Companies. They are required to abide by the following procedures:

1. Terminate the expatriate workers who have expired contracts or contracts whose scope has been reduced.

2. Appoint national manpower in place of the expatriate workers at any other contracts won by the company while taking into consideration the matching of experiences and efficiencies in the replacement program.

3. Revise the procedures the main contractor has to follow to reduce the number of national manpower and to ensure that they meet the said requirements and to appoint the national manpower in place of the expatriate workers at the company businesses or at any other contracts won by the company while taking into consideration the matching of experiences and efficiencies in the replacement program.

4. Submit a notice to the technical teams at least two months before the expiry of the employment contract of the national manpower that could not be absorbed. This notice should show the employee's details, practical experience and the academic qualifications. It should also include data on the expatriates whose services have been terminated.

The ministerial committee agreed on the measures that will be adopted by the technical team delegated with the task of considering the national manpower that could not be absorbed by the above mentioned companies. They are as follows:

1. Revise the reduction of national manpower made by the production companies and ensure that these companies complied with the above procedures.

2. Implement an option to appoint and train national manpower to absorb them in private sector organizations either through direct appointment of skilled workers or involve them in a training and rehabilitation programme for semi-skilled workers before re-appointing them if necessary.

The company (the employer) will be advised about the financial implications of the same.

3. The employer will bear the financial consequences associated with the implementation of the appointment procedures as per the notice sent by the technical team. The committee will continue its follow up on these aspects regularly to ensure the implementation of best solutions that maintain the interests of the national manpower.

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