Temporary transfer of expat staff among group firms may be allowed

Muscat: The labour reforms in 2019 will focus on freedom of movement for employees, part-time work, Omanisation quota and settlement of labour disputes, said the Implementation Support and Follow-up Unit (ISFU) in its annual report.
The report said the reforms will seek to permit expatriates in the fields of medicine, academia, technical, consultancy, expertise and training to work on a temporary basis, to manage the businesses that need expatriate expertise for a limited period of time.
These positions will be updated annually by the Ministry of Manpower based on the demand in the market.
The process of having temporary licenses will be simplified through an automated system of application.
Presently, expatriate workers are not allowed to move between enterprises registered within
the same entity.
The ISFU report seeks to find a long-term solution by granting expatiates this freedom, and thus avoid companies needing to employ additional workforce.
Once the law is amended, companies will be able to seek permission from the ministry to transfer an expatriate for a period of up to three months.
More efforts have been dedicated to the tourism sector as it is one of the promising economic sectors in the Sultanate.
“Currently, workers are not allowed to move between enterprises registered within the same the entity, hence the flexible movement policy has been endorsed to allow movement of manpower from one entity to another within the tourism sector.”
The report said the main focus will be to allow workers to take on roles in part-time and temporary positions to make or supplement income as well as gain valuable work experience.
“The labour market in Oman is restricted to full-time employment status only. “This initiative will increase labour workforce participation by providing employment opportunities to increase the number of Omanis in the private sector, while reducing joblessness and allowing for more workforce mobility and temporary licence for specific specialist jobs,” the report said.