The recently issued Labour Law has been hailed for, among other things, the various benefits it extends to women in the workforce.
Speaking to the Observer, Supreme Court licensed lawyer and Member of the Oman Human Rights Commission, Maimuna Said al Sulaimani, shed light on how the new law will positively impact women's working conditions.
“A key feature in the law is to grant women paid maternity leave of not less than 98 days, which is so important,” she said.
Previously, a woman was entitled to maternity leave of just fifty days, which has been significantly extended under the new law. Effectively, this makes Oman one of the countries offering the longest paid maternity leaves in the region, she pointed out.
Additionally, maternal leaves were limited to no more than three times during their employment at a specific workplace, but the new law removes this cap, offering women greater flexibility.
“There is no limit to the number of children a woman can have while working for a specific employer, which marks an improvement compared to the previous law,” shared Al Sulaimani.
Additionally, according to Article (76), new mothers will be entitled to an hour per day during their workday for childcare, which will count towards their working hours. Furthermore, Article (60) stipulates that establishments with more than 25 female employees must provide a resting place for women.
However, most notably, Article (12) specifically bars the termination of employment of women on the grounds of pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding, classifying such acts as arbitrary dismissal.
The new Labour Law was promulgated by Royal Decree 53/2023 issued by His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik on Tuesday.