Work Ban in Oman: 60 Percent of Poll Respondents Say Yes to NOC

Published June 29th, 2017 - 10:44 GMT
According to government officials, the rule was implemented to stop expatriates switching jobs and joining competing firms.
According to government officials, the rule was implemented to stop expatriates switching jobs and joining competing firms.

Almost 60 percent of the tens of thousands who voted in an online government poll want the No Objection Certificate (NOC) rule to stay.



The final English language poll survey by a government unit closed earlier, affirming that a majority of Oman residents support the No Objection Certificate (NOC) regulation. 

Voting has closed on both on the Arabic and English language poll that asked residents in Oman whether they agree, or disagree with removing the NOC regulation.

The government's Implementation Support and Follow-Up Unit (ISFU), launched the two public polls via social media last week, seeking opinions from residents in Oman.

Results from the English language poll closed Wednesday evening, and indicated that 56 per cent of voters support the NOC regulation, while 42 per cent don't support it, and two per cent are unsure.

Results of the Arabic poll, reported yesterday, indicated that a majority of residents "disagree" with removing the (NOC) guideline as well, at 62 per cent. Only 32 per cent of voters "agree" with removing the regulation, while 6 per cent were unsure. 

Overall, the polls show an average of 59 per cent of responses as supportive of the NOC regulation, while 32 per cent on average want to see it removed.

On the Arabic poll, 7,117 votes were cast, while the English language poll received 28,738 votes.

With 35,855 votes registered altogether, the polls show that about 20,506 votes went for the regulation, while 14,347 votes went against the NOC regulation. Only 1,002 votes were unsure. 

While the Arabic language poll received almost 400 comments debating the topic, the English language poll had a staggering 2.1 thousand comments in its Twitter thread.

The comments featured conflicting opinions regarding the measure, and solutions that would find middle ground with regards to amending NOCs.

The ISFU also posted an infographic online with a definition of the NOC, and arguments for and against the regulation.

"Some business owners believe that NOCs lead to restrictive movement of workers, and decrease their productivity, and therefore lead to barriers in front of business with regards to attracting talent from world markets, while others see that NOCs protect trade and client secrets, and therefore the NOC is considered positive in their work," the infographic stated.

In 2014, Omani authorities implemented a two-year ban for expatriates, if they fail to acquire a No Objection Certificate from their current employer in order to switch sponsorship to a different employer in the Sultanate.

Without the NOC, expats have to leave the country and cannot return for a period of two years. According to government officials, the rule was implemented to stop expatriates switching jobs and joining competing firms.

The Implementation Support and Follow Up-Unit has been conducting meetings with different Tanfeedh initiative teams, in order to evaluate Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), and find solutions for the challenges that face the Tanfeedh teams.

Tanfeedh, the government think tank charting the economic future of Oman, held a series of 'labs' last year where experts from the public and private sectors brainstormed for six weeks to come up with solutions for the Sultanate's economy.

The Labour lab, headed by Shahswar Al Balushi, had drawn up proposals around the NOC regulation to make it fairer to both employers and employees.

 


© Muscat Media Group

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