(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Oman's new Labour Law, which came into effect at the end of last month, meets many demands made by workers in private sector establishments, according to a key official.
Labour Affairs Under-secretary at the Ministry of Manpower Hamad bin Khamis Al Amri said one of the notable features of the revised law was the introduction of two weekly offs for workers in all private firms. The holidays, he pointed out, need not necessarily be on Thursdays and Fridays, but on any days agreed by employers and workers.
The maximum number of work hours a day has been fixed at nine or 45 a week. An employee can be asked to work extra hours, provided the total does not exceed 12 hours a day.
"The employer should give the employee the basic salary for the hour plus 25 per cent for the extra hours during day shifts and 50 per cent for the extra hours during night shifts," Amri said.
He added that workers at sea ports and airports and on aircraft or ships may be paid an allowance instead of overtime subject to prior approval of the ministry.
The maximum working hours for Muslims during the holy month of Ramadan is six a day or 30 in a week.
Wages and salaries can be paid every week, two weeks or monthly as decided between employers and employees. But the payment must be paid within seven days from the end of the period agreed upon. Wages may be paid earlier during special and national occasions and holidays.
Amri said Article 28 of the law stipulates that an establishment which employs 15 workers or more must display the Labour Law and amendments to it "in a conspicuous place" on their premises so that their workers were fully aware of their rights and obligations.
Every worker must be given 30 days of paid leave annually, plus an emergency leave of six days according to the new law which also incorporates a number of amendments in clauses governing dismissal or termination of service of an employee.
Women in general cannot be asked to work between 9pm and 6am, except in cases such as hospitals, health centres and airports. "A working woman may get special leave to cover the pre- and post maternity period - 50 days of fully paid leave, provided it does not exceed three times during her service," Amri said.
He said companies that did not comply with the prescribed Omanisation levels would be punished with a fine of not less than RO250 and not more than RO500 for each Omani they should have employed.