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Employment Law in Oman

The Sultanate of Oman is the second-largest state in the GCC and possesses a wider range of natural resources than most other Gulf nations. Oman plays a leading role in the Arabian peninsulas external trade, and the private sector is driving the continuing development of the country. Oman has a population of nearly 3 million and about one third of the workforce are expatriates.

Employment in Oman is regulated by the Labour Law, issued in accordance with Sultani Decree 35/2003, and the various Ministerial decisions that amend it, and the Civil Transactions Law, issued in accordance with Sultani Decree 29/2013.

The Labour Law regulates the employment of all workers in the private sector, other than domestic servants. It governs employment contracts, wages, overtime pay, leave, work hours, industrial safety, labour disputes, and the employment of Omani and foreign nationals.

The provisions of this law shall not apply to:

  • members of the armed forces and public security organisations and employees of the state administrative and other government units

  • members of the employers’ family who are sponsored/dependent on the employee

  • domestic servants working inside houses or outside houses such as a driver, maid or a cook and those with similar jobs.

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) shall by their decision issue the rules and terms of work relating to these categories.

The employer may establish schemes which are advantageous for the employee, provide additional benefits or enter into agreements, the terms of which are more beneficial than the terms provided for in this law. If a condition in this law contradicts any of the conditions set out in such schemes or agreements, the condition which is more beneficial to the employee shall apply.

Expatriate employees are also subject to the Law of Expatriates Residence issued by Sultani Decree 16/1995 and the regulations and decisions made by the Royal Oman Police dealing with employment visas and residency permits.

Employment Law in Oman: Quick Facts
  • The Labour law requires a standard-format written employment contract between the employer and employee; if it is in a language other than Arabic, a translation must be attached. General Principles

  • An employment contract is defined as an agreement between an employer and an employee, whereby the latter commits to working for, and under the management and supervision of, the former in return for a wage. Employment Contracts

  • Certain matters must be contained in the employment contract. It is usual for employers to use a standard employment contract issued by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) for Omani employees, and a more detailed employment contract for expatriate employees. Employment Contracts

  • Before hiring expat employees from overseas, an employer in Oman must obtain a labour clearance from the MOM. Work Permits and Job Offers

  • Private sectors must comply with omanisation targets for employment of roles. Omanisation

  • The minimum wage for Omani Citizens is set at RO 325 which is the minimum prescribed salary for Omani job seekers. Pay and Benefits

  • The maximum work hours are nine hours a day or 45 hours a week, with a minimum of half an hour rest a day and two rest days a week. During Ramadan, the maximum working hours are six hours a day. Working Time, Rest and Holidays

  • Employees are entitled to 30 calendar days of annual leave with gross salary (basic salary plus allowance). Annual Leave

  • Female employees are entitled to six months maternity leave on full pay. An employer must not dismiss a pregnant employee nor send any notice during pregnancy or maternity leave. Maternity Leave

  • Employees are entitled to two weeks full sick leave with pay.

  • The employer must not discriminate between employees regarding type of work, amount of wage or salary, employment, promotion, professional qualifications, and apparel. Equality and Discrimination

  • The priority will be to hire Omani nationals; in case a non-Omani national is hired, work permits and visas are necessary. Work Permits and Job Offers

  • Redundancies of Omani national employees require a minimum of three months notification to the Ministry of Labour. Redundancy

  • Employers must provide employees with adequate means of protection against hazards of occupational injury and disease that may occur during work. They also have a range of specific obligations in their area. Health and Safety

  • In principle, an employer may dismiss an employee by providing the end of service gratuity or Pension Fund. An employee may also be dismissed without notice on certain misconduct-related grounds. Termination of Employment