Muscat: The requirement for a no-objection certificate (NOC) to transfer the expatriate workforce to another job inside the Sultanate will come into effect next week, and the government announced last June that it would cancel the no-objection certificate requirement to enable expatriate workers to switch jobs as of January 1, 2021.
The decision, after the government has implemented structural reforms in the labor system, will allow the expatriate to move another job without the need for a no-objection certificate (NOC) requirement, but this does not mean the worker’s transfer to another job until after the end of his current work contract.
As for workers fleeing their sponsors, they are not allowed to change their workplace.
In an explanation, an official said to local newspaper Shabiba: “Changing jobs is not linked to the duration of the visa, but to the duration of the work contract.”
Some companies have work contracts that range from three to twelve months. Technically speaking, expats are free to join other companies after this period.
However, expatriates cannot join a direct competitor, according to documents sent by the Government Communication Center to “Al-Shabiba”.
The rules regarding canceling the NOC apply to non-Omani workers who work for companies as well as domestic workers.
The documents also indicate that the expatriate is not allowed to disclose any confidential information related to his old company to the new employer. The Government Communication Center said, “This can be done by signing a non-disclosure agreement and a non-competition agreement.”
The government communication center documents also stated: “Employment contracts may include a non-competition clause, as is the practice followed in many countries and in different sectors. There is an example of this condition, which is a condition that lawyers in the United States sign that prevents them from working for a direct competitor for a certain period.
Upon the expiry of his current work contract, the expatriate worker has the option to continue working for the current employer, if he is able to do so, or to move to another place.
The Government Communication Center added: “It is possible to stipulate the rights of both parties in the employment contract between the worker and the employer.”
The Government Communication Center said, in the event of workers absconding, “If this is proven, the worker is officially registered as a fugitive and legal measures are taken to deport him from the Sultanate and prevent him from entering it again.”
But when the NOC cancellation comes into effect, and based on the nature of the work, priority will be given to Omani workers, provided that the salary paid to both an expatriate and an Omani to perform this job is approximately the same amount. Moreover, work visas will be issued to expatriates only in sectors that need non-Omani workers.
The Government Communication Center said: “It is not possible to change the profession when a work visa is issued, except after obtaining the approval of the Ministry of Labor. The number of work permits issued will depend on economic needs.
To ensure that the decision to cancel the NOC does not affect the way companies and establishments employing expatriate workers operate in the Sultanate, the Government Communication Center said that those affected by this decision have “been given sufficient time from the date of announcing the decision to the date of its actual implementation, which It comes with certain terms and conditions ».
To prevent expatriates from leaving companies in large numbers, the contracts will contain “a notification clause or a compensation clause, when the worker moves to another company, which must be mentioned in the employment contract.”
The Arabic copy of the Decree, the decision to come into effect from January 1, 2021.
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