MUSCAT, May 14 - The Ministry of Manpower has initiated punitive action against 161 companies employing 6,959 foreign workers for violating the government’s Omanisation policy. According to a statement from the ministry, these companies have not complied with the minimum 10 per cent Omanisation target set by the government. “In all 161 companies have been served with stop dealing memos for violating the Omanisation policy of the government,” said a statement from the ministry.
This means that about 6,959 expatriate employees are under the threat of losing their jobs in the coming days as the companies will not be given permits to employ or renew contracts following the stop dealing memo.
According to a senior official at the ministry, most companies that are facing action had more than 40 expatriate employees on their pay rolls. “Not a single national was found to be employed by these companies”, he said.
The government has embarked on a strict Omanisation policy for citizens and is throttling back on expatriate hiring, where an Omani is available to do the job.
Major companies across the Sultanate have already been given Omanisation targets.
The ministry in December last had served an ultimatum to private sector firms to submit their Omanisation plans for 2018 and also had asked all firms to follow the guidelines as specified.
The ministry had also made it clear that it would not consider applications for hiring expatriate workers if the Omanisation plan was not submitted before the deadline.
Despite repeated warnings, several companies have been found not adhering to the Omanisation policy.
“This amounts to violation of the law and needs to be addressed with punitive measures,” said the official.
He said the ministry officials will continue to carry out inspections in the companies to ascertain if they have complied with the national job policy.
“If any company is found to be in non-compliance with the law, the ministry will not provide them any service, including issuance of new work permits and renewal of work cards,” he said.
In January, the ministry had slapped a six-month ban on hiring foreigners seeking work in 10 different industries, including media, information technology, marketing, insurance and aviation in a move to create space for job-seeking graduates.