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Govt not averse to nurseries at workplaces, says minister

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The Ministry of Social Development is not averse to the idea of setting up nurseries at workplaces in the Sultanate of Oman.

According to HE Dr Laila bint Ahmed al Najar, Minister of Social Development, ‘nursery at workplaces’ is an excellent idea, and the ministry encourages and supports it.

“There is a study on the possibility of creating a legal framework in this regard”, the minister said.

However, a decision will be taken only if there is no objection to roll-out in government entities and managed by small and medium enterprises, the minister said.

“There are set standards and basics for nurseries supervised by the ministry, and also there are guidelines in this regard, in addition to the rules and regulations governing them”, she said.

The minister spoke during the weekly talk show ‘With the Youth’ on the Sultanate of Oman TV. The talk touched on different subjects, including the volunteer system, associations, civil teams, women, people with disabilities, and the system of security and social protection.

Referring to social protection, HE Dr Laila bint Ahmed al Najar revealed that the ministry is studying a new family protection law to target the groups most in need of support.

“This will be implemented after studying the existing legislation, regulations and the shortcomings in the current system. It will have a clear vision that determines the need for a law directed directly in this aspect”, she said.

“The most important objective of the social system is to target the groups most in need of support through the presence of many programmes, whether through cash contributions or subscriptions to the Social Protection Fund”.

According to her, there is no unified definition of “limited income”, but there are several partner agencies working with various government agencies to organise this aspect and frame it in a comprehensive, unified definition at the national level, and it has not been finalised yet.

The system related to the Social Security Law has undergone many amendments and developments during the past years, but this system needs to be developed and changed to suit the variables and lifestyle.

She stressed that the social protection system is a basic requirement in all countries, and its role is not limited to one government agency alone, but rather it is a national system in which the roles of several government agencies overlap as well as the private sector and partnership by the civil society.

“The ministry worked on studying many provisions of the current Social Security Law, and these changes were raised to target other groups and amend dues during the next stage”, she said.

She confirmed that the Sultanate of Oman has achieved a very advanced level in the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and is still working on many items in partnership with all relevant authorities to find other gains for women in this agreement.

“Omani women have proven their competence since time immemorial. It will remain an active partner, making its mark wherever it is found, and we are truly convinced of its capabilities and potential to be present in all fields”, she added.

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