Average 172 workers abscond a day

Muscat: Amid crackdown by authorities, an average 172 expat workers are absconding in Oman, figures from the previous years show.

Data also show a year on year increase in the number workers who flee their employers with whom they are obliged to work with.

This is evident from the rising number of people being rounded up by the authorities from different parts of the country.

“Most of these absconding cases refer to workers who enter the Sultanate on the so-called free visa and those who ‘jump’ the sponsor to make a quick money by doing odd jobs”, said an official at manpower recruitment agency.

Similarly, he said, “owners of some rogue companies also declare their workers as absconding when they fail to provide them with jobs”.

According to data from the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI), 63,000 workers fled their employers in 2016, compared to 60,000 workers in 2015.

Clarifying that there is nothing called free visa in the country, an official at the ministry of manpower said, “expat workers cannot seek jobs under an employer other than the same sponsor who brought him/her to the country”.

Under Oman’s laws governing foreign labour, each expatriate must be tied to an Omani sponsor and must work exclusively for him or her.

According to Article 114 of Omani Labour Law, a non-Omani employee who works in Oman without a licence from the directorate concerned or works with any employer other than the employer who obtained a licence to bring him to the Sultanate, shall be punished.

An employer who allows any of his workers to work with another employer shall be punished with imprisonment for a term not exceeding one month and a fine not exceeding RO 1,000 for each worker.

To read the detailed report, check tomorrow’s Oman Observer newspaper