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New ex-pat employment law
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CVN-76



Joined: 28 Mar 2014
Posts: 171

PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 8:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is an easy way to fight all this. Guarantee yourselves NOCs in the language of the contract. If we ALL stick together and demand NOCs if we do what we are called to do within the contract, we should have a right to those.

"If said teacher satisfies all conditions within the contract, he will automatically receive an NOC when the contract expires."

But TESOL teachers, overall, seem to lack the DNA that is necessary to produce a backbone, so most lack one. They are willing to roll over and accept an employer having almost total control over their destinies while working for those employers.

Band together, people. If an employer mistreats me today, surely you are smart enough to know they will mistreat YOU tomorrow. Right?
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Chuma



Joined: 21 May 2013
Posts: 70

PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MuscatGary wrote:
Chuma wrote:
Quote:
, the restriction on the issuing of family visas for at least six months


Does this apply for anyone being issued a new work visa? Is there a minimum salary that can bypass this restriction?


You have to earn at least 600 OMR pcm to be eligible for a family visa but as this is a teacher's forum this is not an issue BUT the new rule seems to apply to everybody.


So my wife would have to wait 6 months before she can join me? Surprised

Is this a new law? When did it come into effect?
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Whatever will be



Joined: 05 Feb 2014
Posts: 303

PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chuma: Yes, your wife will have to wait six months. The new law will come into effect as of 1 July 2014.

Times of Oman, May 14, 2014, front page (3rd column):
"....generally no company would give the no objection certificate or clearance for an employee to join another company..."

Why? Because "...the Ministry of Manpower would not give another clearance for another foreign employee...." which means that the recruitment agency looses their commission for that employee forever.

"The expatriate worker goes to a new company with an NOC within the country, the old employer will not get a visa in his place."

So, if the recruitment agency/ sponsor knows that you are leaving prematurely (prior to completing 2 full years) because you have given the required notice (usually one month), they will withhold the last salary and any gratuity/ benefits (flight back to your home country) until you're at the airport with them to cancel the work visa. Then, you have to wait 2 years until you can come back to Oman for work.

If you do not give notice, you can collect your final pay and run of in the middle of the night but have to wait 2 years to return for work with another employer.

Either way, you loose.

Only silver lining on this horizon of this disaster: You can come back 4 weeks at a stretch as a normal tourist but without the right to work.
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1st Sgt Welsh



Joined: 13 Dec 2010
Posts: 946
Location: Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei

PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For people on the ground in Oman, I'm just wondering how is the government spinning this? For recruiters/employers who are not offering competitive conditions, I can understand why they would be in favor of this law, but, I don't see it really helping Oman or anybody else. What I guess I'm asking is how is this law being justified and what is its purported aim?
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CVN-76



Joined: 28 Mar 2014
Posts: 171

PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just when I thought it would be cool to go to Oman, they pull this. I can tell you guys one thing's for sure--your number of teaching hours will go up, as an unncessary shortage of teachers will be created. Many teachers who want to return, only with a different employer, will be shut out instead. Many of those teachers will have the desirable qualities employers are looking for--extensive experience, experience in the middle east, famliarity with Islamic customs, knowledge of Oman's regulations (they don't make faux paus mistakes all the time). Oman is shooting itself in the foot here.
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Whatever will be



Joined: 05 Feb 2014
Posts: 303

PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 3:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1st Sgt Welsh:
The media reported that the law has been in effect for some time but never really been enforced. One of the reasons quoted was the over reliance on expat workers combined with the desire to get more Omanis into employment (Omanisation).

There is a rumour going around that Sultan Qaboos is dying and that this is to prepare for that as fundamendalists are to be overtaking government. Hence, the urgency of implementation as it's only 6 weeks notice for this labour law to come into effect.

Basically: the Omanis are worried that the Indians / expats are taking over and want to cut back. Next, there are large number of unemployed Omani (especially youth) yet at the same time, they bring in foreign workers. Naturally, it would make more sense to employ nationals first, before importing more foreign labour.

CVN-76: You are right, workloads will go up. If we loose a teacher or two, you can bet that the students will be distributed across the remaining classes. So, instead of having 25 students in the class, we'll have up to 30. If that's not enough to absorb the increasing labour shortage, they add a couple of hours of teaching to everybody's schedule to cover the load of those who have left.

I for one am applying for jobs outside of Oman starting this weekend, before all the opportunities in the Gulf are taken up by those leaving the Sultanate.
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1st Sgt Welsh



Joined: 13 Dec 2010
Posts: 946
Location: Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei

PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the response Whatever will be. That's kind of what I figured, but, there must be much better ways to handle it than this. It's all well and good to be concerned about domestic unemployment but how many of the unemployed Omanis are able and/or willing to do the jobs that are currently being done by foreigners? Is there a surplus of Omani unemployed who can teach EFL classes effectively or are happy to dig ditches? I have yet to set foot in Oman, but, I've been researching the Middle East for a while and I very much doubt it.
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Tazz



Joined: 26 Sep 2013
Posts: 512
Location: Jakarta

PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 9:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deductive reasoning doesn't seem to be a strong point here......or indeed any kind of reasoning behind a decision-no doubt, when all the Indian construction workers etc get shown the door, and they find that no Omani is willing to do the shitty jobs for low pay, or any pay, they'll change the rules again- and back come the Indian sub continent.....probably working for even less pay through unscrupulous recruiters!
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Whatever will be



Joined: 05 Feb 2014
Posts: 303

PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1st Srgt Welsh and Tazz; totally agree with you both!

One of the reasons for Omanisation is the need to get them into jobs as the oil resources are about to run out within the next 10 years. That means, that the current subsidies for unemployed Omanis can no longer be paid - there simply will be no more oil to do so. Unless the locals have some type of job to earn a living, there would be rampant unemployment which will lead to mass protests/ civil war.

The law has been in existence for several years but not enforced, for the very reasons that you've mentioned. However, it seems as much a political move than an economical. That is, keeping the majority of the population with strong Muslim values happy.

There is strong sentiment against certain ex-pat workers' ethnic groups visible to anyone who observes the treatment of Indian/ Fillipinas by Omanis. Simply: Omanis fear that the Indians are taking over. Already, they are much more successful in running businesses and educating their children, than the local population. This breeds resentment and a desire to ' kick them out'.

Given the current move towards fundamentalism over the last 9 months or so (closure of life music venues such as Route 66 a couple of weeks ago and its subsequent loss of an alcohol license once it re-opens, the loss of an alcohol license for Irish Pub near Qurum beach, the closure of some liquor shops, the reduction of shisha venues, etc.) these are all signs towards a return to more conservatism in the country.

There is great publicity about new tourism projects and it strikes me that these venues are usually someplace far away from the local population (i.e. a remote cove/ bay/beach) to prevent ' contamination' of the locals with western ideas (i.e. attitudes, behavior), which supports my previous argument.

The media reported that female domestic workers will no longer get visas - targeting specifically maids from Indonesia or the Philippines. The latter are suspected/ known to earn additional money through prostitution, which seems to play a part in targeting that group. Another aspect is the unskilled nature of the job, meaning they can be replaced with a local person.
So, unskilled / repetitive labour can and will be replaced by Omanis even though _they_ have a reputation for job hopping and hardly stay for 2 years in a boring, low paid position....something they expect expats to do.

In the time that I have been here, I have seen expat staff at the supermarket cash registers being replaced by Omanis, which usually means slower service and a need to check your change.

There were also reports of ' undesirable' nationalities in the print media. However, these were not specified but rather left to the readers' imaginations.

As to your question whether trained Omani ESL teachers are available to take positions: yes, there are several training institutes to graduate locals. Often, they go overseas for some time to improve their English.
Once in a teaching position, they last only a short time before they more into an administrative/ management role, where they either seem to make a total mess out of things or are mostly ignored.

Anyway, these are just some of my observations or perhaps prejudices.
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MuscatGary



Joined: 03 Jun 2013
Posts: 1364
Location: Flying around the ME...

PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They've also started to apply the 60 years of age rule fully this week. Two teachers at my place have been terminated for being 'too
old.'
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 17610
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just read this whole thread and think it is time to point out to any newbies out there that everything here is 99% pure speculation. The 2 year rule/NOC requirement has been in effect since the 1980s. Enforcement has totally been related to type of job and employer, and has been ignored for the last few years.

We won't know how it will play out until the passage of time. Until then, I would mostly pay attention to the links to the Omani media. The MOM comments in Arabic probably being the most accurate.

We won't know whether the family rule for 6 months will include education until we have some teachers post here that it has affected them.

VS
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CVN-76



Joined: 28 Mar 2014
Posts: 171

PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MuscatGary wrote:
They've also started to apply the 60 years of age rule fully this week. Two teachers at my place have been terminated for being 'too
old.'


Back in early 2011 they were supposedly going to introduce a maximum allowable age for teachers to be 55, beginning in the fall of that same year.

So their first baby step towards that limit has been taken. Let's see if they take any additional steps before realizing 'the old prune faces' are just as adequate at teaching as anybody and even help reduce teacher shortages.
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CVN-76



Joined: 28 Mar 2014
Posts: 171

PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1st Sgt Welsh wrote:
Thanks for the response Whatever will be. That's kind of what I figured, but, there must be much better ways to handle it than this. It's all well and good to be concerned about domestic unemployment but how many of the unemployed Omanis are able and/or willing to do the jobs that are currently being done by foreigners? Is there a surplus of Omani unemployed who can teach EFL classes effectively or are happy to dig ditches? I have yet to set foot in Oman, but, I've been researching the Middle East for a while and I very much doubt it.


If the labor involves working outside in 52-degree-centigrade weather, I don't think the Omanis will do it. They're too used to air conditioning, not used to exerting muscular effort. Or much mental effort, for that matter.
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MuscatGary



Joined: 03 Jun 2013
Posts: 1364
Location: Flying around the ME...

PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2014 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

veiledsentiments wrote:
I just read this whole thread and think it is time to point out to any newbies out there that everything here is 99% pure speculation. The 2 year rule/NOC requirement has been in effect since the 1980s. Enforcement has totally been related to type of job and employer, and has been ignored for the last few years.


Actually it's entirely based on ROP announcements in the Times of Oman over the last week.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 17610
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2014 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MuscatGary wrote:
veiledsentiments wrote:
I just read this whole thread and think it is time to point out to any newbies out there that everything here is 99% pure speculation. The 2 year rule/NOC requirement has been in effect since the 1980s. Enforcement has totally been related to type of job and employer, and has been ignored for the last few years.


Actually it's entirely based on ROP announcements in the Times of Oman over the last week.

There are three links... and 2.5 pages of speculation about what it might or might not mean. And no one knows as yet.

VS
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