Oman mulls extension to ban on hiring foreigners in 10 sectors | UAE News Oman mulls extension to ban on hiring foreigners in 10 sectors | UAE News
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Oman mulls extension to ban on hiring foreigners in 10 sectors

Oman mulls extension to ban on hiring foreigners in 10 sectors

The ban has already been extended once since being announced in late January

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Oman is considering a further extension to a ban on hiring foreign workers in 10 sectors, according to reports.

Authorities announced the six-month ban on hiring foreigners in 87 roles in late January under plans to create 25,000 jobs for Omanis. It was extended for a further six months from July 30.

Read: Oman extends ban on hiring foreigners in 10 sectors, unveils new investment visa

Ministry of Manpower director general of planning and development Salim bin Nasser Al Hadhrami told Times of Oman another extension could be issued depending on the needs of the labour market.

“The Ministry of Manpower issued a ministerial decree No. (38/2018) to temporarily suspend the authorisation of a non-Omani labour force in some professions, which included an extension, such as information systems, accounting and finance, sales and marketing, administration, human resources and insurance,” he was quoted as saying.

“The decision to regulate the labour market, provide job opportunities for job seekers in these disciplines, reduce the recruitment of labour force in the country, and the ban for a period of six months can be renewed based on the results of the study and the success in providing job opportunities in these disciplines.”

The official said a study was underway to measure the success of the ban, which does not apply to establishments registered with the Public Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises Development and Public Authority for Social Insurance, in providing jobs for Omanis.

Separate six-month bans on recruiting expats as sales representatives, construction workers and in the cleaning, workshop, carpentry, aluminium blacksmith and brick factory sectors have been extended in recent months.

Read: Oman sees unemployment among citizens fall after expat hiring bans

However, there has been some criticism of the restrictions, with a director of Oman’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry saying the bans had put pressure on the economy.

“With the hiring freeze in these sectors, it’s not only affecting the big businesses but also the small and medium enterprises. As long as there are constrictions, there are impacts on the economy. There should be no constraints in all sectors in an open economy,” Ahmed Al Hooti told the publication.

“There should be no hiring freeze for jobs in Oman, as the competition and open market are needed to build up the economy.”

Authorities in the sultanate are also set to introduce a digital traffic light system indicating whether companies have met the Omanisation target for their sector.

Those that fail to hire Omanis could face a ban on hiring foreigners for the whole of 2019.

Read: Oman to ban firms that don’t meet Omanisation targets from hiring foreign staff


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