Monday, November 19, 2018

Secondment of Employees in Oman

The Oman Labour Law issued by Royal Decree 35/03 (as amended) does not provide for or recognise the concept of secondment.  However, in practice, it is fairly common for foreign commercial companies to second their employees to local entities pursuant to a secondment agreement with the new company or the local partner.  This facilitates compliance with local law requirements, which require mandatory permits for the secondee to be employed and to reside in Oman.

Over the years, certain conventions have evolved which do not have the force of law, but which most companies follow when seconding employees in Oman.  Below we set out some of the more important of these conventions:

  1. The secondee always remains the employee of the foreign company regardless of any agreement that the local company may be required to enter into with the secondee for the purpose of obtaining employment permits.
  2. The local company “employing” the secondee and the foreign company providing the secondee should enter into a secondment agreement setting forth the terms of secondment and providing essential safeguards for the local company, foreign company, and the secondee.
  3. The local company should act as the local sponsor for the secondee for the purpose of procuring the requisite visa and the residence permit for the secondee and, as the case may be, for the family members of the secondee under the same sponsorship.
  4. The local company should provide the necessary amenities to the secondees (and to the dependants, if agreed) during the secondment in accordance with the agreement between the parties as indicated in the secondment agreement.
  5. The secondees are expected to perform their duties in Oman in accordance with the terms of their secondment and the policies of the local company.
  6. The foreign company is expected to withdraw the secondee immediately in case of misconduct or breach of any provision of the local laws by the secondee.
  7. Any material change to the job profile or designation of the secondee is subject to mutual agreement between the foreign and local companies.
  8. As the provisions of the Omani labour law would apply to all persons employed in the private sector including secondees, sufficient safeguards must be provided in the secondment agreement to exclude the applicability of Omani labour law and the jurisdiction of Omani courts in case of disputes arising from the secondment.