The country is officially referred to as the Sultanate of Oman. This western Asian country is located on the Persian Gulf and the official language is Arabic. Oil and gas have historically been the staple of the economy in Oman, however, the country has made recent strides to diversify its economy. Oman offers a strategic location at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, economic stability and vast potential.
Employment contracts in Oman should be written in Arabic, and the salaries should be in the legally circulating currency. However, if the contract was in any other language, an attached Arabic translation document is required to be given to both employer and employee. In cases of illiteracy, or if the employee is not fluent in the language of the contract, certification of the contract is required from the Labor Office. The employer is to issue a receipt to the employee of all documents given by the employee.
There are two types of contracts in Oman, indefinite full-time and definite part-time contracts. A full-time employment contract has an indefinite period with a fixed minimum number of hours per day, while a part-time employment contract contains a period that has a maximum number of hours per day. The latter is used for types of work that are either temporary or casual that must not exceed six months. If a definite contract continues to be executed after the expiration of its period, the contract will be deemed renewed as an indefinite full-time contract.
All foreign employees require a permit to work in Oman. The petitioning employer must have entered the country by lawful means and have satisfied the conditions provided for in the Expatriates Residence Law before being eligible to apply for a foreign worker permit.
The work hours are nine hours per day with a minimum of 30 minutes break and a maximum of 45 hours per week with a maximum of a two-day weekend. During the fasting month of Ramadan, the hours are reduced to a maximum of 30 hours per week for Muslim employees. Overtime is capped at a maximum of three hours per day. A minimum of 25% increase per hour during daytime, 50% during the evenings, and a 100% increase for work on weekends and official holidays. The substitution of overtime hours/days with replacement hours/days are conditioned on the employee’s written approval.
The employee is entitled to receive a maximum of ten weeks of medically certified sick leave per year. Any additional sick leave days will be deducted from the employee’s vacations and personal days. The sick leave payments are based on percentages applied to the number of weeks leave is taken.
Female employees are entitled to 50 days of maternity leave that covers the periods before and after delivery, for a maximum of three deliveries throughout their employment per employer. The employer is prohibited from dismissing a female employee for being absent due to pregnancy or sickness, as long as her absence does not exceed a total of six months. Some private companies grant three to seven days of paternity leave for male employees.
The minimum wage in Oman is determined by the Ministry of Labor and the Central Bank of Oman. Every year, a committee from the ministry and the bank assess several factors to determine the minimum wage for that year, one of which is the educational background of the employee. It is advisable to check what the new minimum wage every year.Furthermore, bonuses should not be less than OMR 100, and annual raises must not be less than 3% per year.
Employees are entitled to annual leave and special leave days in Oman. They receive a minimum of 30 days of annual leave and a maximum of six personal days per year, after six months of continuous service. The special leave days are not deducted from personal days, and are granted with full pay in some cases. Any untaken annual or personal leaves are to be paid at the end of every year. If an official holiday falls on the regular weekend day, the employer is required to give a replacement holiday to employees.
The state provides cost-free universal healthcare to Omani citizens.
A contract expires automatically when the definite period ends, the designated contractual work is completed, the employee becomes certifiably disabled for more than ten weeks or dies .Both the employer and the employee may initiate the termination of full-time or part-time contracts. However, full-time contracts require a 30-day written termination notice, while part-time contracts require a 15-day termination notice. Any termination during the probation period requires a termination notice of seven days or more. If a contract is terminated without observing said periods, the party who terminates the contract will be obliged to pay compensation to the other party equal to the salary of the notice period.
Terminations are prohibited during vacation, sick leave and maternity leaves .Employers may dismiss employees without notice in limited circumstances. Special rules apply for employees accused of theft. Employees may also terminate contracts without notice in certain circumstances. The retirement age is 60 years. An employee is entitled to an end of service gratuity from the employer for years of service. When employment is terminated, the employer shall pay an end of service gratuity equal to the salary of 15 days for the first three years, and a one month salary for each year after that.
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