Privilege cards for Omani manpower-friendly private firms

Eager to enhance the private sector’s employment appeal to Omanis, the Sultanate’s authorities are promoting a new initiative to recognize and reward private sector companies that provide a welcoming and positive workplace for young nationals.

The centerpiece of the initiative is a special, incentives-driven card that will be issued to corporates that perform well on a scorecard attesting to their commitment to attracting and retaining Omanis.  Dubbed the ‘Work Environment Measurement Card’, it will entitle card-holders to a number of privileges and benefits.

“The initiative aims to provide an ideal work environment for the national workforce in the private sector, in order to attract young national competencies, by launching a card that includes standards stimulating the corporate work environment, through which corporates that meet the standards receive incentives and facilitations from the Ministry of Manpower and other relevant authorities,” said the Implementation Support & Follow-up Unit (ISFU) of the Diwan of Royal Court. ISFU, a high-powered task force, is spearheading the delivery of the initiative – part of the latest portfolio of 130-plus projects that seek to accelerate Oman’s economic diversification.

Collaborating with ISFU in the roll-out of the initiative are the Ministry of Manpower (MoMP), Ministry of Tourism (MoT), General Federation of Oman Trade Union (GFOTU), Muscat Municipality, Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI), and Public Authority for Small and Medium Enterprise Development (Riyada).

Around 400 corporate firms have been issued the prestigious ‘Work Environment Measurement Card’ since it was unveiled in early 2019. But a hoped-for wider uptake failed to gain momentum within the corporate sector. In response, ISFU and other stakeholders reviewed the incentives offered as part of the initiative and sought feedback from the private sector as well. The incentives have since been enhanced, according to ISFU.

Going forward, the launch team plans to press ahead with efforts to encourage more private sector firms to provide a “stimulating work environment” for Omanis. “It also aims to launch a special standards package for SMEs, in coordination with the Public Authority of Small and Medium Enterprise Development (Riyada),” said ISFU, adding that card-holders will be honoured as well.

Significantly, the privilege card project is one of 10 different initiatives on ISFU’s dashboard for delivery as part of its effort to align manpower and labour practices with the goal of enhancing Oman’s economic diversification.

Notable among the initiatives currently in various stages of implementation include the following: Enhancement of Labour Disputes System; Development of a Sustainable System for Establishing, Monitoring and Implementing Occupational Standards; Labour Solution Package for Construction Sector; Labour Solution Packages to assist Economic Sectors in Achieving Omanisation; National Leadership Development Programme to support Omanisation in Middle and Upper Management Positions (Etimad); and Part-Time and Temporary Work and Enable Flexible Movement of Labour.