Omani is reportedly considering plans to allow expatriate workers to be hired on short-term job contracts.
Times of Oman reports that the proposal was submitted by the country’s national diversification programme Tanfeedh last week with the argument that it would benefit the economy and provide more jobs for Omanis.
The reports, which states that short-term contracts would allow greater flexibility in the workforce in some specialised professions, is being appraised by government lawyers, its authors told the publication.
It also cited a Ministry of Manpower official as saying workers could be offered three-month, six-month or nine-month contracts to complete a project and they would also be allowed to move different branches of the same sponsor’s business.
“For example, if a business owner has a McDonald’s and a Starbucks, he would be able to move a worker from one restaurant to the other without issue. This is hopefully in the legal works for the future,” he said.
Tandeefh predicted that the initiative would increase the number of part-time workers registered in the sultanate from 102 to at least 13,000 by 2020 and the number of partially employed students to 13,000.
However, it said small and medium enterprises would be excluded from the plans as they are allowed an unspecified number of part-time employees.
Abdul Gafoor, general manager at Al Shabibi Global Construction Company, told the publication that the proposal would help companies save time and money.
“Many a time, we need employees only for a specific project and that too for a specific time. But we are forced to hire them and provide them two-year job visas. We can avoid such hiring if short-term job contracts are enabled,” he was quoted as saying.
More difficult conditions in the Gulf region have forced companies and governments to consider practices like flexible and part time work as a cost cutting measure.