Should there be a minimum wage for expats?

  • 5 months   ago
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Expats working in Oman do not have a set minimum wage, and social workers and embassies have been examining ways to set one.

 

An Omani citizen working in the private sector is entitled to earn a minimum wage of OMR325, according to a ministerial decision passed in 2013, but there is no minimum wage limit set for expatriate workers.

"There is no minimum wage for expatriates. The missions (from foreign countries in Oman) have to push for that," said PM Jabir, an Indian social worker based in the Sultanate for over 30 years.

In an interview with Times TV in 2017, the Indian Ambassador to Oman had said they had requested a minimum wage limit for expats. "As of now, there is no minimum wage, though we have requested the government of Oman that it would be in the interest of the workers, as well as Omani employers, that there is a minimum wage so that even expatriate workers are able to live a life, of a minimum standard, and their lawful employers are able to meet the legal requirements of the government of Oman," said H.E. Indra Mani Pandey

Currently, there is a Wage Protection System in the country that makes sure that an employee’s monthly salary is credited to his/her account on time. "The Wage Protection System was introduced last year. It was there even before, but once it was introduced it has been working properly. The Wage Protection System is payment of wages through banks. There is an assurance that workers get the wages on time", said PM Jabir.

The need for such a system came in the wake of reports of the sponsor either not paying employees on time or holding on to it without giving the employees what is rightfully theirs. "Earlier there was no assurance. The sponsor was taking the wages and it was not reaching the workers". He added, "In the past we used to get complaints of workers not getting wages for 5 or 6 months. Now it has reduced because of the wage protection system."

A work advisory issued by the Embassy of the Philippines earlier this year had said that "sponsors must pay a month basic salary of not less than USD400 or OMR160 for domestic workers, and more than OMR160 for skilled workers."

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