Friday, September 11, 2009

Labor Law Alert: Omanisation

Earlier Omanisation policy aimed at reducing the reliance on foreign workers prescribes sector-wise Omanisation targets for the private-sector employers to achieve with a target of 90% for the revenue-rich sectors of oil and gas, banking and travel and tourism and 100% for marketing. The policy makes it mandatory for employers to employ Omani nationals for certain administrative posts such as receptionist and security officer. In addition, certain jobs have also been Omanised area-wise, limiting expatriate employment to certain regions.

The employers in the private sector are required to file their Omanisation plans annually with the Ministry of Manpower.

The implementation of the policy is two-pronged: (i) incentivising companies exceeding the prescribed target; and (ii) restricting foreign labour clearances for employers failing to meet the target. Private- sector companies exceeding their Omanisation targets and meeting other labour-related criteria are entitled to a ‘green card’ which guarantees preferential treatment in some Ministries and other government agencies.