At a press conference held today (27 January 2021), the Oman Ministry of Labour announced that it will be introducing a raft of measures in the coming weeks to boost employment opportunities for Oman nationals, particularly in the private sector. This will include amendments to the Labour Law, further Omanisation of a variety of positions (i.e. reserving certain positions for Omani nationals only), a new employment application system to replace the existing sponsor tied labour clearance and employment visa process and establishing mobile labour courts to deal with employment disputes.
Gorvinder Pannu, a partner in Addleshaw Goddard's employment practice, said: "In what is quite a bold move, particularly given the financial difficulties that a number of employers find themselves under the current Covid 19 pandemic, the Ministry of Labour also announced an increase in the labour clearance fees for recruiting foreign workers, the cost of which will depend on the seniority of the position and will no longer be a flat fee, currently OMR 301 (approx. USD 780)."
The most significant increases will apply to top/senior-level roles, middle-level roles and technical and specialised roles.
To recruit a foreign national in a senior role, the fee will be RO2,001 (approx. USD 5200); recruitment of a foreign national to a mid-level role will cost OMR 1001 (approx. USD 2600) whereas recruiting a foreign national in a technical/specialised role will now cost an employer OMR 601 (approx. USD 1500). It is unlikely (but yet to be confirmed) that there will be any reductions in the renewal of employment visas.
No further details have yet been released on the measures announced today, including when the new fees will take effect. We will report further as the details are released.
For more information please contact Gorvinder Pannu.