Muscat: Private sector companies that delay or cut salaries of their employees have been warned of strict action.
“Salary is the right of an employee and the Oman law guarantees it. No company can deprive the employees of their rights”, said a top official at the Ministry of Manpower.
When a salary is specified in the contract, it becomes a contractual right. The companies should pay it accordingly, he told Observer.
Although the official did not specify on the fines or other penalties, he said that the act of non-payment of wages can lead to stringent measures including shutdown.
According to Article 23 of the Labour Law, the employment contract should contain the basic salary, as well as any allowances, if any and other perks to which the employee is entitled under the current terms of employment.
He said that employers should deposit salaries into the employee’s account at one of the locally approved banks.
However, a decision by the Manpower Minister may determine the exceptions where the employee’s salary may not be deposited in his account, he said.
Salaries through banks now help the ministry tack whether the salaries are paid on time. This also prevent occurrence of labour disputes and any other issues relating to wages, he said.
In addition, this makes the labour market more transparent and enables the ministry to maintain an accurate database of the all the private sector employees in the Sultatnate, he said.
“It is likely that companies that are facing any particular situation or financial difficulties think about reducing the salaries or allowances of their employees. But they cannot do it as it will be treated as a violation of the law”, the official said.
Unless a salary cut is effected as a punishment as part of the company’s disciplinary policy, approved by the Ministry of Manpower, in no other circumstances can the employer take steps to either reduce salaries or allowances of the employees, as this act will be regarded as unlawful.
Earlier in a statement, General Federation of Oman Trade Union (GFOTU), also urged that companies should not delay salary payments.
“Any late or short payments require valid justifications from the employer. Any late or short payments require valid justifications from the employer”, said the statement.