After much anticipation, the new Labour Law was issued on July 25th, 2023, through Royal Decree 53/2003 ("New Law"). This comprehensive legislation introduces a myriad of enhanced benefits and novel entitlements for employees in Oman. Striking a balance between employer and employee interests, the New Law is a testament to precision and meticulousness, setting the stage for a transformative era in labour regulations.
The New Labour Law is poised to take effect upon its publication in the Official Gazette, effectively superseding the outdated Royal Decree 35/2003 ("Old Law"). This momentous step signifies a departure from the past and a leap towards a more modern and inclusive labour framework in Oman.
Now, let us delve into some of the notable and transformative changes that the New Law brings forth:
|OLD LAW – RD 35/2003||NEW LAW – RD 53/2023|
|Working Hours||- 9 hours a day, |
- maximum 45 hours a week
with at least half hour break for food and rest
|- 8 hours a day|
- 40 hours a week
- Continuous work hours shall not exceed 6 hours
- Remote work system introduced to perform work using information and communication technology inside or outside of workplace, partially or completely
|Sick Leave||- Maximum ten weeks in a year|
- Termination of employment for sickness of employee that compel to discontinue work for more than ten weeks in a year whether continuous or interrupted period
|- 182 days in a year payable as:|
• 1 - 21 days = 100% gross salary
• 22-35 days = 75%
• 36-70 days = 50% and
• 71 – 181 = 35%
- Termination if absence due to sickness not to exceed three months in one year, continuous or interrupted period, provided sick leave of 182 days is exhausted.
(with gross salary)
|- 30 days with gross salary (to be availed after six months from joining work)||- 30 days to be taken after six months have lapsed;|
- Non-Omani employees entitled for a return ticket to spend their leave and resume work.
(with gross salary)
|(a) 3 days for marriage granted not more than once throughout service;|
(b) 3 days if death of son, daughter mother, father, wife, grandfather, grandmother, brother or sister.
(c) 2 days in case of the death of an uncle, or an aunt.
(d) 15 days for the performance of Al-Haj [pilgrimage] once throughout the period of his service, provided that he has completed one year in the service of the employer.
(e) 15 days during the year for purpose of sitting for examination in case of an Omani worker who is an associate student with one of the schools, institutes, colleges or universities.
(f) 130 days for a working Muslim wife in the event of her husband's death.
|(a) 3 days in case of marriage;|
(b) 3 days in case of death of father, mother, grandfather, grandmother, brother or sister;
(c) 10 days in case of death of wife or son or daughter;
(d) 2 days in case of death of uncle, aunt; maternal or paternal;
(e) 15 days to perform Haj pilgrimage, provided one continuous year spent in service of employer;
(f) 15 days in a year for taking exams for an Omani employee enrolled in school, college, university;
(g) 130 days for Muslim female employee in case of death of husband and 14 days for a non-Muslim female employee;
(h) 98 days of maternity leave for female employee to cover pre and post childbirth;
(i) 7 days of paternity leave, provided child is born alive and leave not to exceed 98th day of child’s age;
(j) 15 days in a year for Omani employee to accompany patient having marital or blood relationship up to the second degree
The above leave are subject to providing proof thereof.
|Female Employee’s Rights||- 130 days special leave to Muslim employee, with gross salary, in case of death of her husband;|
- 50 days maternity leave with gross salary, covering pre and post delivery period for not more than 3 times during service;
- Employer cannot dismiss female employee for absence due to illness associated to pregnancy or delivery provided total period shall not exceed six months
|- 130 days for Muslim female employee in case of death of husband and |
14 days for a non-Muslim female employee;
- 98 days of maternity leave for female employee to cover pre and post childbirth;
- 1 hour per day of nursing break for period of one year from end of maternity leave;
- Unpaid leave to take care of her child for period not exceeding 1 year provided she bears all contributions to Social Insurance Fund of her, employer and government during her period of leave;
- Designated rest area in establishment where no. of female employees exceed 25;
- Termination will be considered arbitrary if for the reason of pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding for female employees.
|Repatriation of non-Omani employee||Employer obliged to repatriate non-Omani employee upon termination of work relationship unless sponsorship is transferred to another employee||- Employer is obliged to repatriate non-Omani employee to his country or other as agreed upon after termination of employment, within maximum 60 days. |
- Employee has a right to remain in Oman if filed a lawsuit claiming dues until claim is decided upon, without employer bearing any financial consequences.
|Salary payment||In all cases, salary was payable within 7 days from end of period in which in becomes due||- In all cases, salary shall be payable within 3 days from end of period in which in becomes due.|
- Employee has a right to terminate employment as prescribed in the New Law if employer does not pay him for more than two consecutive months.
|End of Service Gratuity (EOSB)||- Calculated on last drawn basic salary;|
- Entitled only if completion of minimum one year service;
- on termination of employment, employees not beneficiary of Social Insurance Law, entitled to gratuity as 15 days last drawn basic salary for each of first three years followed by one month basic salary for each of following years.
|- Calculated on last drawn basic salary;|
- Entitled for proportionate gratuity for fraction of year served based on period in service;
- Non Omanis who are not beneficiaries of social insurance, shall be entitled for gratuity of not less than a basic salary for each year of service;
- The above is in effect only till enforcement of savings systems introduced by Social Protection Law issued by Royal Decree 52/2023;
- Employer to settle the entitlement for period till implementation of savings system by transferring same to the above said saving system or to employee provided settlement is calculated on basic salary as on date of settlement.
|Non-Compete||- Employer and employee may agree for a non-compete period, not exceeding two years from termination of employment, provided nature of work givens access of business secrets to employee or he has knowledge of customers and clients of employer; thus, employee not to compete with employer or engage in same activity that competes with employer after termination of employment. |
|Work regulations||- Employer with 15 or more employees were to have work regulations after approval by Ministry.||- Employer having 50 or more employees to have work regulations after approval of Ministry.|
|Penalty Regulations||- Employer with 15 or more employees were to have penalties regulations after approval by Ministry.||- Employer having 25 or more employees to have penalty regulations after approval of Ministry.|
|Disciplinary Action||- Employee cannot be accused after expiry of 15 days from discovery of violation;|
- No disciplinary penalty imposed after 30 days from proving the violation for employee receiving monthly salary and 15 days for other employees.
|- Employee cannot be accused after expiry of 30 days from discovery of violation;|
- No disciplinary penalty to be imposed after 60 days from date the violation is proved.
|Limitation Period ||- 15 days from date of notification of termination, in case of dismissal from work;|
- 1 year to claim entitlements from date of right to such entitlements
|- 30 days from date of notification of termination, in case of dismissal from work;|
- 1 year to claim entitlements from date of right to such entitlements
|Compensation for unfair dismissal||- Minimum three months gross salaries ||- Minimum three months and maximum 12 months gross salaries|
Furthermore, beyond the mentioned changes, the New Labour Law encompasses several other amended and newly introduced provisions, ensuring a comprehensive regularization of employment relations.
Should you have any queries or seek guidance regarding the implications of the New Law, our dedicated labour and employment team at BSA Oman office stands ready to assist you. Please don't hesitate to reach out to us for expert advice and support on navigating this transformative legislation.
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