Special Feature

New Omani Labour Law: 5 Employee Rights and 5 Employer Rights

The long-awaited Omani Labour Law that came out last month makes substantial changes to the relationship between employees and employers, and it will take everyone a period of time to fully appreciate the changes introduced by this critical piece of Omani legislation. In this blog post, we will shed light on 5 of the most significant benefits that both employees and employers have under this new Labour Law.

New Employee Rights

Reduced Working Hours (Article 70): A step towards work-life balance, the new Labour Law has trimmed down the maximum working hours from 8.5 hours to 8 hours a day. This change not only provides employees with respite but also has the potential to enhance their efficiency.

Paternal Leave (Article 84(1)): Recognising the responsibility of fathers within the household, the new law bestows upon them a 7-day paternal leave, allowing them to spend more time with their newborns and assist their wives. Oman is one of the very few countries in the Arab world to offer paternity leave by law and is probably one of the most generous in this area.  

Leave Carry Over (Article 78): The former Labour Law did not regulate unused leave carried from one year to the next. This new law now explicitly states that employees have the right to carry at least 30 days of leave to the following year.

Bereavement Leave for Non-Omani Women (Article 84(8)): The emotional turmoil resulting from the loss of a spouse can be immense. Understanding this, the law now grants non-Muslim women a 14-day paid bereavement leave for the death of their husband, a significant increase from the previous 3 days.

Collective Labour Agreements (Part Eight): Emphasizing a collective bargaining approach for protecting labour rights, the law now recognises the existence of such agreements and provides for a mechanism to register them with the Ministry of Labour.

New Rights for Employers

Definite Period Contracts (Article 34): The law now makes it clear that contracts that are renewed are still considered definite period contracts as long as the total period of the contract, including the renewal period, does not exceed 5 years. This relieves employers of the obligation to retain staff who are no longer needed.

Termination of Underperforming Staff (Article 43(3)): This provision equips employers with the authority to terminate the contracts of workers that fail to reach the required performance standard after giving the worker a grace period of six months.

Termination due to Redundancy (Article 43(4)): The law also allows employers to terminate workers in cases where the business closes some establishments, reduces its activity, or no longer needs the same number of staff due to the replacement of production methods.

Reduction of Staff due to Economic Cause (Article 44): This addition empowers employers to reduce their workforce, after obtaining the approval of the Ministry of Labour, in cases where the employer suffers economic losses for a period not less than 2 consecutive years.

Recognition of Non-compete Clauses (Article 69): The new Labour Law recognises non-compete clauses in cases where the nature of the worker puts him in a position to compete with the employer. The law requires the non-compete clause to have a defined type of work, geographical scope, and time period. It also sets the maximum period of non-compete clauses to 2 years.

These are merely some of the new rights for employees and employers under the new Omani Labour Law, and it is highly recommended that all employees and employers familiarise themselves with the Labour Law.

Decree subscribers can read the Labour Law in full in English by clicking on the following link: