Recruitment of expats to cost more

Muscat: The Ministry of Labour has announced a substantial rise in the fee for the recruitment of expatriate employees in some professions, especially for top-level positions.

The announcement was made by Shaikh Nasr al Hosni, Under-Secretary at the Ministry of Labour during a press conference on Wednesday.

“There will be changes in the Labour Law and Civil Service Law, including an increase in the fee for the recruitment of non-labour manpower for positions in the administrative and executive apparatus,” he said.

He said that the rise in the cost of the non-Omani workforce aimed at making the national workforce attractive to the private sector, less expensive, and efficient as well as to liberalise the labour market.

A new employment application system will replace the process of bringing expatriate workers instead of issuing permits. This is considered a radical regulatory action, he said.

While RO 2001 will be the fees for top-level positions, the fee for middle-level has been decided at RO 1001 and RO 601 for technical and specialised professions.

According to Al Hosni, formulation of the policies includes uniform benefits in both public and private sectors, Omanisation of some professions, setting up of mobile labour court, and new ministerial decisions to localise some jobs.

Another major decision announced during the press conference held at the ministry building included the transfer of the end of service benefits of the expatriate workers to the Social Insurance Fund.

According to the new fee structure, recruitment of artisanal fishermen will cost RO 361, non-mentioned (unspecified) occupations RO 301, housemaids (from one to three house workers) RO 141, housemaids (from four workers and above) RO 241, farmer and camels’ breeder (from one to 3) RO 201 and farmer and camels’ breeder (from four and above) RO 301.

While fees of changing a worker’s data have been fixed at RO 5, transferring a worker from a current sponsor to another will cost RO 5.

Fees have also been drawn up for issuing and renewing licenses to recruit non-Omani workforce in small and medium enterprises owned by Omani employers.

“They are fully free to manage their businesses, provided they are registered and insured with the Public Authority for Social Insurance and not more than two years have passed since the inception of the business”, Al Hosni said.

The new fees are RO 101 for one worker up to 5 workers, RO 151 for 6 to 10 workers, provided that one Omani is employed in these enterprises.