Don’t delay 3 per cent annual wage rise

MUSCAT, April 17 – The Ministry of Manpower has warned companies against denial of annual increment to Omani employees in the private sector.
“We have received complaints that some companies have not complied with the mandatory three per cent salary increment to the employees so far this year,” said an official at the ministry.
This is against the law and companies cannot make any excuses in this regard, the official said.
“Inspectors from the ministry are following up on the matter. If any company is found violating the rules, strict action will be taken in accordance with the law,” he added.
The amended Labour Law, which came into force from July 1, 2013, mandates that Omani employees in the private sector get an annual increment of three per cent of basic salary on January 1 each year.
“Employees, who have been working with a particular employer for at least six months as of January 1 of such year, shall be entitled to a salary increase of at least three per cent every year unless the employee has been underperforming,” states the official order.
A senior official of a finance company said officials from the ministry visited his establishment to make enquiries about the inclusion of amount equivalent to the increment in the salaries.
“This year, we could not make the payment so far due to scarcity of funds, but we are in the process of finding a solution,” he said.
The ministry recently launched a pilot scheme making it mandatory for companies in the private sector to pay salaries on time.
Launched in cooperation with the Central Bank of Oman, the new Wage Protection System monitors the processes for payment of wages by following the bank transactions of the employees.
Starting with November 2017 salaries, companies were granted a period of three months for employers to comply with the new formula.
A statement from the ministry said, “The new move stems from the ministry’s keenness to ensure stability of work at the private sector establishments. The ministry calls upon all private sector establishments to use the aforementioned unified formulae to transfer the wages of their employees.” The programme is an electronic salary transfer system that allows companies in Oman to pay workers’ wages through banks or financial institutions approved and authorised to provide the service.
It allows the ministry to create a database that records wage payments in the private sector to guarantee the timely and full payment of agreed-upon wages. It also covers all companies registered with the ministry across all sectors and industries and will benefit different categories.