Working from one place to another exposes us to the differences in work culture and labour codes between countries.
Therefore, it is important for us to get into the details of our employment contract as well as to gain understanding of the labour law that applies in the host country’s workforce to set proper expectations. Whatever is mandated under the Labour Code must be observed by all companies in the country. Any deviation from the law can be questioned or verified with concerned agencies or departments.
Two-Day Weekly Off Mandatory for Workers in Oman
Regarding rest days, the Labour law mandates all employees in the Sultanate of Oman to have at least two consecutive rest days after working continuously for five days.
This provision is based on Article 71 of the Labour Law, as observed by the Ministry of Manpower.
Since 2011, private sector employees in Oman have been enjoying a five-day work week following the amendments to the Labour Law.
However, workers in domestic services such as drivers, maids, cooks and those with similar jobs are excluded from this law. The Labour Law states that the Ministry of Manpower shall issue general guidelines and terms of work related to these categories.
Furthermore, the accumulation of weekly rest periods for not more than eight weeks may be permitted by the minister in respect of certain places of work specified by the minister, if the employer and the employee agree to this in writing.
The law also maintains that the weekly rest, in all cases, shall be payable.
Experts, on the other hand, expressed that employees can be required to work six days per week, granted that this is clearly stipulated in the contract, and that the worker be paid double their daily basic salary for the sixth day, or given an extra day of annual leave in compensation for every sixth day worked.
According to Article 68 of the Labour Code, an employee may not be required to work for more than nine hours a day and a maximum of 45 hours a week with at least half-an-hour breaks for food and rest.
Furthermore, the maximum work hours during Ramadan shall be six hours a day or 30 hours per week for Muslim employees.
The work hours must also be separated by one or more intervals (breaks) for having food and rest, the total of which shall not be less than half an hour.
Workers must not be required to perform continuous work exceeding six hours in a day. However, an employee may be required to work for more hours if the interest of work so dictates provided the total original and extra work hours do not exceed 12 hours a day as recommended by the law.
Also, the employee shall be paid overtime pay equal to his basic salary against the extra work hours plus at least 25 percent for day-time work and 50 percent for night work or allow the employee to work extra hours provided he agrees to it in writing.
As for those working in certain places such as ports, airports, on vessels, ships or aircraft, the law states that the employer and the employee may, after securing the approval of the ministry, agree on payment of a fixed allowance for employees in lieu of the overtime payments, provided an approval is issued by the ministry upon notice.
Disclaimer: The topic discussed in this post was published for information-sharing purposes only. Should you have any specific queries or concerns regarding the Labour Law and/or your employment contract, you may get in touch with an officer from Oman’s Ministry of Manpower via their official website.