The Labor Law of 1973 governs the area of industrial relations in Oman. The law reflects the government’s policy regarding the ‘Omanization’ of the work force, which presently includes a significant numbers of foreign nationals. Therefore, the Labor Law states that foreign nationals may not be employed as technical assistants, guards, light vehicle drivers, Arabic typists, agricultural workers, forklift or mixer operators and public relations officers. If no Omanis are available, an employer may be allowed to bring foreign workers into the Sultanate. Foreign employees need to obtain a labor permit signed by their prospective employers. There are also entrance requirements, applying to all foreign visitors, which must be complied with.
The government sets wage guidelines in the private sector. Employers may pay additional taxes on salaries paid to foreigners. Fringe benefits for employees can be generous in the Sultanate. Most entities pay a housing and utilities allowance of up to 50 percent of the basic salary. The maximum work week is forty-eight hours, longer than that of most industrial countries. Annual leave is fourteen days. Severance pay is mandated at fourteen days pay for each year of the first three years of employment and thirty days for each year thereafter. There are also provisions concerning sick leave and maternity leave.
Disputes regarding employment conditions may be refereed to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor, and arbitration of disputes may be conducted by the Labor Welfare Board that hears disputes involving industrial relations matters. An entity with fifty or more employees must prominently display its procedure for settling grievances. No employee may be fired for filing a grievance.