Oman has recently taken significant strides in labour law reforms to prioritise the welfare of its citizens and expatriates and align with the Vision 2040 national agenda. Issued by Sultan Haitham bin Tariq on July 25, the new decree introduces a range of paid leaves and workplace regulations.
The labour law changes focus on extending leave benefits to parents, guardians, and the sick, introducing part-time employment, and managing redundancy in the workplace. An essential aspect is the ‘Omanisation’ process, where expatriate employees can be replaced by Omani workers in the same position to support national employment.
Notably, the new leave entitlements include 98 days of paid maternity leave for working mothers, with additional unpaid leave of up to one year to care for their children. Fathers can apply for seven days of paternity leave, while employees caring for sick family members are eligible for up to 15 days of leave.
Furthermore, employees are granted 182 days of sick leave with varying salary coverage based on the number of days taken. Study leave of 15 days is provided for employees pursuing education, and special leave without pay can be granted. Temporary employment with another employer is now allowed to streamline business operations and reduce recruitment costs.
The law enables employers to terminate employees failing to meet performance goals, providing a six-month notice period for improvements. Employers must set up a performance appraisal system for better evaluation.
Additionally, the law mandates a separate break area for women in workplaces with more than 25 female employees.
These comprehensive reforms demonstrate Oman’s commitment to enhancing the well-being of its workforce, providing extended leave benefits, and encouraging local employment. By aligning labour laws with the Vision 2040 national agenda, Oman aims to create a conducive and progressive work environment for both citizens and expatriates