Govt mulls movement of expats in same group firm

Muscat – The government is working on setting up mechanisms and criteria for flexible movement of expatriate workers and the companies on which such criteria will be applied. It also aims to allow recruitment of non-Omani workers under temporary licences in specific specialised jobs for a set period of time. The Implementation Support and Follow-Up Unit in its annual report, which reviewed Tanfeedh projects, said the government seeks to enhance labour mobility of non-Omani workers between enterprises registered within the same entity. “The long-term objective of the initiative is to unlock flexible movement of expatriates to help private enterprise in need of additional staff,” the report said. After amendment to the new law, a company can move an expatriate worker to a group company for a period of three months after notifying the Ministry of Manpower.

In 2018, the government aims to permit the recruitment of non-Omani workers under temporary licenses in specific professions such as medical, academic, technical, consultancy, expertise and training. This amendment is being pursued as a measure to manage business needs requiring specialists (expatriates) for a limited period of time. Such special jobs will be identified and updated on a yearly basis by the Ministry of Manpower because of the demand of the labour market. The report added as one of the key requirements of a growing economy, the government is taking a multi-faceted approach to address the labour market concerns.

The unit’s report said: “In 2017, the labour sector worked intensively to deliver several initiatives identified under the National Economic Diversification programme. The main objective of the initiative was to improve planning and training to better align with the demand and supply in the labour market.” The initiatives included providing employment opportunities for the Omani job-seekers and students in the private sector, in addition to enhancing labour mobility of foreign manpower between enterprises registered within the same entity. The part-time work initiative is to encourage Omani student job-seekers and current employees to take up part-time work to build their capabilities for the labour market.

Vinod Nair