Oman’s Ministry of Manpower has warned companies they face losing work permits for their staff if they fail to meet Omanisation targets, according to reports.
The sultanate has recently been cracking down on companies that are not employing enough Omanis under a wider push to reduce the unemployment rate among citizens.
Officials said last month the country could extend a six-month ban on recruiting foreigners enacted in January if targets are not met.
This week the Ministry of Manpower said it had penalised 161 companies for not employing a single Omani worker, according to Times of Oman.
The firms face losing the work permits for the 6,959 people they employ unless they Omanis.
“They have to rectify the situation. Violating companies are required to speed up the process and work to achieve the required Omanisation rate, because a delay will cause termination of work permits for their employees,” an official told the publication.
“We emphasise that the decision will not affect any worker, as long as the institution is serious about correcting its situation and is working in accordance with the provisions of the Labour Law.”
The ministry is planning to carry out more random inspections to catch violating firms. It previously said in February that 199 companies employing 16,544 poeple were penalised for failing to meet Omanisation targets.
Employers face a fine of OMR250-500 ($650-$1,300) for each Omani worker they are short of their target.
If they fail to correct their status in six months the penalty will be doubled.
Going forward the government is seeking to introduce a shortlist of Omani jobseekers that private sector firms will need to consider before hiring foreign workers.