Law Updates

The New Joint Dialogue Committee under the Omani Labour Law

Yesterday, His Majesty promulgated the brand new Labour Law that overhauls the regulation of the labour market in Oman. One of the significant aspects of this reform of employment law is the creation of a new “Joint Dialogue Committee for Production Parties” as part of the wider aspects of collective bargaining and participatory provisions under the new law.

The establishment of a multi-stakeholder committee, such as the Joint Dialogue Committee, demonstrates Oman’s commitment to developing a more cooperative labour environment, especially as this committee is chaired by the Minister of Labour and has in its membership representatives of the government, employers, and workers. The platform for dialogue between workers, employers, and the government can facilitate open discussions, leading to mutually beneficial agreements. Such a mechanism can help address labour-related issues proactively, promote worker welfare, and create a conducive atmosphere for businesses to thrive.

The mandate of this committee is stipulated in article 140 as follows:

1. Reviewing proposals to regulate the labour market.

2. Promoting and strengthening work relations between production parties.

3.  Studying developments in Arab and international labour standards to benefit from them in promoting joint dialogue in a manner that serves labour relations between production parties.

4. Joint cooperation to direct the efforts of the social partners in the labour market in order to increase production, enhance competitiveness, and achieve balance and harmony between the interests of workers and business owners in a way that enhances the national effort to achieve comprehensive and sustainable development.

5. Reviewing the forms prepared by the Ministry of Labour for the work system, penalties, and complaints.

Multi-stakeholder committees provide a platform for workers to voice their concerns, negotiate for better wages, improve working conditions, and strengthen job security. Empowering workers with a say in decisions that directly impact their lives can lead to increased job satisfaction, productivity, and reduced labour disputes. By engaging in constructive dialogue with employers, employees can actively contribute to shaping labour policies that safeguard their rights.

The introduction of this committee, along with other collective bargaining provisions, such as the provisions relating to collective contracts and collective labour disputes found in other sections of the new Labour Law, are a positive step.

Oman’s brand new Labour Law, with its collective bargaining provisions, holds significant potential for transforming the nation’s labour landscape. The Joint Dialogue Committee offers an opportunity for workers, employers, and the government to collaborate, address challenges, and create a more inclusive and equitable labour market. By overcoming potential challenges through transparency, inclusivity, and robust enforcement, the country can strive for a brighter future, where both workers’ rights and businesses’ interests are balanced to drive sustainable growth and prosperity for all.

Article 141

A committee for joint dialogue between the production parties shall be formed under the chairmanship of the minister, and it must include in its membership representatives of the three production parties (the government, business owners, and workers).

We have started working on Decree’s translation of the new Omani Labour Law, and we expect to have it available to our subscribers early next week. Once translated, it will be available in full in English on the link below: