Oman considers extending expat visa ban

These steps taken by the government are part of the Omanization drive to recruit more of its citizens in private companies. (Shutterstock)
Updated 10 December 2018
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Oman considers extending expat visa ban

  • The current ban, which is expected to expire at the end of January 2019, has halted the hiring of expats to jobs across 87 sectors
  • These steps taken by the government are part of the Omanization drive to recruit more of its citizens in private companies

DUBAI: Oman’s Ministry of Manpower is considering extending the expatriate visa ban that was implemented early this year, national daily Times of Oman reported.

The current ban, which is expected to expire at the end of January 2019, has halted the hiring of expats to jobs across 87 sectors which include information systems, accounting and finance, sales and marketing, administration, human resources and insurance.

“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,” Salim bin Nasser Al Hadhrami, Director General of Planning and Development at the Manpower Ministry told the daily.

Earlier this week, the Ministry of Manpower announced that companies will have to secure the ministry’s go ahead before they can hire expats.

A new traffic light-themed online system is currently being rolled out in Oman, in which companies’ Omanization quotas are being monitored.

Under this new system, companies that meet Omanization standards set by the government will receive a green signal online, allowing them to proceed with hiring expat employees.

These steps taken by the government are part of the Omanization drive to recruit more of its citizens in private companies, a similar push is underway across the GCC where countries like Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have also been trying to increase the number of nationals in private sector employment.


UK core pay growth strongest in nearly 11 years, but jobs growth slows

Data showed the unemployment rate remained at 3.8 percent as expected. (Shutterstock)
Updated 16 July 2019
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UK core pay growth strongest in nearly 11 years, but jobs growth slows

  • Core earnings have increased by 3.6 percent annually, beating the median forecast of 3.5 percent
  • The unemployment rate fell by 51,000 to just under 1.3 million

LONDON: British wages, excluding bonuses, rose at their fastest pace in more than a decade in the three months to May, official data showed, but there were some signs that the labor market might be weakening. Core earnings rose by an annual 3.6 percent, beating the median forecast of 3.5 percent in a Reuters poll of economists. Including bonuses, pay growth also picked up to 3.4 percent from 3.2 percent, stronger than the 3.1 percent forecast in the poll. Britain’s labor market has been a silver lining for the economy since the Brexit vote in June 2016, something many economists attribute to employers preferring to hire workers that they can later lay off over making longer-term commitments to investment. The pick-up in pay has been noted by the Bank of England which says it might need to raise interest rates in response, assuming Britain can avoid a no-deal Brexit. Tuesday’s data showed the unemployment rate remained at 3.8 percent as expected, its joint-lowest since the three months to January 1975. The number of people out of work fell by 51,000 to just under 1.3 million. But the growth in employment slowed to 28,000, the weakest increase since the three months to August last year and vacancies fell to their lowest level in more than a year. Some recent surveys of companies have suggested employers are turning more cautious about hiring as Britain approaches its new Brexit deadline of Oct. 31. Both the contenders to be prime minister say they would leave the EU without a transition deal if necessary. A survey published last week showed that companies were more worried about Brexit than at any time since the decision to leave the European Union and they planned to reduce investment and hiring. “The labor market continues to be strong,” ONS statistician Matt Hughes said. “Regular pay is growing at its fastest rate for nearly 11 years in cash terms and its quickest for over three years after taking account of inflation.” The BoE said in May it expected wage growth of 3 percent at the end of this year.