The Ministry of Labour highlighted the key elements of the recently issued Labour Law (53/2023) during a press conference in Muscat on Wednesday.
According to officials, the new law aims to address the shortcomings of the previous Labour Law (35/2003) while promoting balanced employment dynamics, enhancing the efficiency of the Omani workforce, and creating a flexible legal framework that can adapt to economic changes, among other goals.
Abdulaziz al Rawahi, a Labour Law Project Team member, said, “The issuance of the law is in line with Oman Vision 2040, considering the aspirations of both employers and workers. It is important to mention that this law went through several stages where production parties expressed their opinions and observations, which were taken into account to achieve balanced labour dynamics.”
Al Rawahi shared that the new provisions aim to facilitate the resolution of workplace disputes “through modern and speedy dispute resolution mechanisms.”
He also highlighted some of the social benefits provided by the new provisions.
“The law also empowers women in the private sector by granting them various possible leaves. For example, they can have maternity leave of up to 98 days with full pay without specifying the number of times the leave is to be granted. There is also the possibility of granting leave for childcare. The law shows concern for the social aspects of workers in the private sector. As for men, there is paternity leave, which amounts to seven paid days.”
He also added that, “The law also emphasises the importance of training and its role in enabling Omanis to work in the private sector - training for empowerment, employment and qualification.”
Officials highlighted some key features of the new law, which include standardising working hours to eight hours, excluding breaks, and extending breaks to one hour instead of thirty minutes.
Additionally, employers must grant terminated employees up to 10 paid hours per week during the notice period to search for alternative employment.