Oman's Ministry of Manpower working on revising Labour Law, setting up regulatory board

H E Abdullah bin Nasser bin Abdullah al Bakri

Muscat - 

The Council of Ministers has ordered the setting up of a team that includes international experts to help revise the country's Labour Law, according to H E Abdullah bin Nasser bin Abdullah al Bakri, the Minister of Manpower. The Ministry of Manpower (MoM) is also involved in setting up a labour regulatory board and a specialised labour court, he added.

Addressing members of the Majlis A'Shura on Sunday, H E Bakri said that the team that will assist in revising the Labour Law will also include representatives from the ministries of Manpower, Commerce and Industry, Oil and Gas, Tourism, the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI), and the Omani Labour Union.

H E Bakri said that his ministry was currently in the process of floating tenders to rope in international experts to join the team. “In the past years, the ministry had been revising the Labour Law from time to time, based on requirements of the job market in coordination with the Omani Labour Union, employers, workers, OCCI and other concerned authorities,” he said. “The team will lay down procedures and regulatory conditions. The international experts will not rewrite the Omani Labour Law but only highlight international experiences and advantages that can be derived from that,” he added.

According to H E Bakri, the ministry is also working on setting up the Regulatory Board for Private Sector Institutions. “The ministry is now in the process of setting up a board to be named the Regulatory Board for Private Sector Institutions that will specify rules and criteria on recruitment, salaries, training, promotions and qualifications of private sector employees,” H E Bakri said.

MoM also plans to set up a specialised labour court, he said, adding that once the court is established, labour issues will not have to be directed to the Public Prosecution.

“Efforts are being made by MoM, the Ministry of Justice and concerned bodies to set up the labour court in the near future,” the Minister said, adding that this move will speed up trials. “Currently, the ministry refers labour disputes to the Public Prosecution which refers them to competent courts for a decision.”

Meanwhile, in his comments on measures to revise the Labour Law, H E Khalid bin Hilal al Maawali, chairman of Majlis A'Shura, expressed the fear that international experts may not have a clear picture of the situation in Oman. “The international firm to be involved may not know the real requirements of the sultanate's labour market and its problems.”

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