Salim al Badi, director basic of Labour Welfare, Ministry of Manpower mentioned, “As many as 21,640 workers were arrested in the first ten months last year. We have made taken various measures to regulate the labour market. Our inspections have become more stringent, and we have more officials to tackle labour law violations. We have intensified inspections at work sites to clamp down on illegal workers.”
He mentioned that Oman has produced large financial improvement all these years and the function of the private sector as well has elevated. “As a result, there has been a significant increase in the number of establishments resulting in more number of workers. This has led to more work and responsibilities for the labour inspection teams.”
Badi mentioned that the quantity of expatriates in 2005 was only 400,000 which has elevated to 1,900,000 in the previous year. “This increase is accompanied by an increase in the number of violations, but when calculating the number of violations per year to the number of expatriates, the percentage does not increase, rather it decreases.”
Badi mentioned that the ministry has taken a number of measures to decrease the incidence of labour law violations. “We have taken a series of measures to decrease the quantity of violations. We have intensified inspection campaigns at workplaces across governorates and taken note of enterprises with expired licences and taken legal measures against them. We have also stopped dealing with establishments exactly where workers’ labour cards have expired and their labour procedures are incomplete.
“Also, hiring of labour force has been temporarily suspended in some activities and occupations where irregularities have increased. New requirements are being put in place for the introduction or renewal of labour cards.”
Badi mentioned that there is close coordination among the competent authorities to kind field teams to handle violations and track the violators. He mentioned that MoM has initiated a number of measures to bring down the instances of illegal workers in the nation.
“We have come out with awareness leaflets for expatriate workforce in 15 languages. These leaflets provide general guidance and have important information and provisions informing them of their rights and obligations.”
He mentioned that labour law violations take location on component of each employee and employer’s sides. “Employers fail to pay workers in time, fail to provide proper housing facility and make employees work for long hours. Workers too violate the provisions by looking for opportunities where they are offered better wages. Another reason workers are dissatisfied is when they are asked to do work other than that recruited for.”
Badi mentioned that a number of measures are initiated against workers employed illegally. “After collecting evidence, legal action is initiated against them. Under Article 114 of the Omani Labour Law, fines will be imposed on violators (the company), workers will be deported, the violating facility will be banned for a period of up to two years and they will not be not allowed to bring in new workers.”
Information Source: Muscat Daily