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Annual salary increase for Omanis mandatory in private sector

Manpower Ministry makes it mandatory for employers in private sector to give Omani staff annual salary increase

Gulf News

Muscat: The Manpower Ministry has made it mandatory for employers in private sector to give annual increment of three per cent of the basic salary to Omani employees.

Shaikh Abdullah Bin Nasser Al Bakri, Manpower Minister, has issued a decision under which private sector employees must get annual increment of three per cent of the basic salary on January 1 each year.

Recently, some companies have lowered salaries and overtime calculations following amendments in the Omani Labour Law.

Keeping that in mind, a clause has been included in the ministerial order to safeguard better terms offered to employees by their employers in the previously agreed contracts.

The clause states that the new order of three per cent increment will not affect any better employment terms enjoyed by the private sector employees. According to a source at the Manpower Ministry, the new increment regulation is only for the Omani employees in the private sector.

Over 200,000 Omanis, employed in the private sector in the country, will benefit from the new rule on annual increment. However, only those who have worked for more than six months with the company will be eligible for the annual increment while those with low performance appraisal will not be eligible to avail the increment.

Meanwhile, the crackdown on illegal expatriates in Oman continued with 1300 people caught by the Manpower Ministry this year so far.

The illegal workforce is believed to be a big hurdle in creating new job opportunities for the national workforce. "There are 191 women among the 1300 caught so far for working in the country without valid papers," revealed Salim Bin Saeed Al Badi, Director-General of Workers' Welfare at the Ministry of Manpower.

He added that 49 were intruders while 26 had entered the country on a visit or tourism related visas. A large number of laid-off (710) were among the people caught for violating the labour laws while 515 others were absconders.

According to Al Badi, raids were carried out at camp sites, places of gathering for blue collar workers, houses and farms. "There has been excellent coordination between the Manpower Ministry, Royal Oman Police (ROP) and Public Prosecution Department to root out the menace of illegal expatriate workforce in the country," he said.

He pointed out that there was a provision under the Labour Law to punish those who employ illegal workforce. The minimum fine is 1000 Omani riyals up to 2000. The senior Manpower Ministry official urged citizens as well as expatriate residents not to give shelter to any illegal residents in the country.