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Wage hike for private sector employees made mandatory

Manpower Ministry to levy penalties on firms refusing to give salary hike

Gulf News

Muscat: Private sector companies face penalties if they fail to give three per cent annual salary increment to employees who have not under performed, a senior official at Oman’s Ministry of Manpower has warned.

“Under the law it is mandatory for all employers to give increment to their employees on January 1, failing which they face penalties,” Salim Bin Saeed Al Badi, Director-General of Labour Welfare at the Ministry, told Gulf News in an emailed statement on Monday.

“The private sector needs to back government efforts to strengthen [the] sector with the contribution of national workforce thus they need to abide by the provisions of the labour law,” he added.

Another manpower official clarified that the provisions in the labour law do not discriminate between the national and expatriate workforce. Therefore, the law of three per cent increment applies across board to expatriates as well as the national workforce.

Al Badi said the ministry was keen to see national workforce as well as the private sector employers work in tandem to strengthen the role of private sector in making the country’s human resource stronger.

He warned that those who do not abide by the Ministerial Decree No (32/2012) on periodic raise on salaries will be penalised.

The order states that without prejudice an eligible worker should get a minimum of three per cent increment on January 1, each year. A worker with more than six months employment is eligible for increment if he or she has not under performed.

Al Badi also said the Director General of Labour Welfare had formed inspection teams to carry out audits on firms to ensure that they follow the Labour Law and hand out increments to deserving employees.

“Those who do not comply will be handed over to the judicial authorities for further action,” he warned, adding that the ministry wanted to create a secure and stable work environment for employees in the private sector.

He thanked employers who had given increment more than the minimum requirement under the law. Meanwhile, he revealed that the ministry continues its crackdown against the illegal expatriate workforce. “Last week we have caught 328 expatriate for violating the labour laws,”

Meanwhile, Al Badi said the crackdown against labour law violators continues, with the arrest of 328 expatriates last week. The ministry also deported 252 labour law violators last week.

In the northern region, the Royal Oman Police (ROP) on Monday arrested 43 Asians for violating country’s labour laws.