Thursday, February 19, 2009

Focus on: Secondment of Employees

Foreign companies doing business with local partners in Oman or that own shares in local companies may consider “seconding” an employee to the local company. There are a number of factors that the local and foreign companies should consider when arranging to second an employee.

First, the Oman Labour Law issued by Royal Decree 35/03 (as amended) does not recognize the concept of secondment. However, it is a fairly common practice that is effected through a private agreement between the employee, foreign company, and the local company. Through the years, certain principles have evolved which do not have the force of law but are followed by many companies in respect of secondment. Some of them include:

  1. The secondee usually remains the employee of the foreign company irrespective of any agreement that the local company enters into with the secondee for the purpose of obtaining employment permits;
  2. The local company and the foreign company should enter into a secondment agreement setting forth the terms of the secondment and providing essential safeguards for both parties;
  3. The local company often acts as the local sponsor for the secondee for the purpose of procuring visas and permits; and
  4. The foreign company will be expected to withdraw the secondee immediately in case of misconduct or breach of any provision of the local laws.