Oman’s Manpower Ministry wants everyone in the country to stop hiring illegal workers - in an effort to curb the curse.
In a series of statements posted online, the ministry revealed that regular 24/7 squads are arresting tens of thousands of illegal workers - but that education is the key to stamp out the problem. As long as citizens and residents are willing to hire undocumented workers, the practice will continue, the ministry announced, calling on everyone in Oman to help battle the problem. A new electronic registration system has also helped - but many slip through the net.
The ministry stated that the number of workers who are arrested for violating the labour system exceeds 20,000 cases every year. “It is a tiring and costly figure to eliminate the absconding worker phenomenon,” they admitted in an online statement. There is a lack of knowledge of the details of the law, a spokesman said. “In most absconding worker cases, we find that the arrested workers work for proxy ownership of business. “An institution that is apparently/superficially owned by a citizen, yet in reality owned by an expatriate,” the statement read. The ministry said that it has adopted new procedures for curbing this illegal practice.
While previously in absconding worker arrest cases, the fines totaled OMR 100 for the sponsor and the worker, in addition to the ticket cost of the absconding worker to be deported from the country, new penalties for such acts have increased from OMR100 to OMR 1,000 for any employer who employees an absconding worker, and OMR 800 for that absconding worker in a bid to curb the absconding worker phenomenon. “As a result of the new procedures, the number of absconding worker complaints has increased and the value of work permits in the black market has also increased to reach OMR3,000, besides a monthly share from the absconding worker,” MoM explained. “After research and analysis of the absconding worker complaints, we found that the reason for the rise in the number of complaints is the evasion of fines and penalties by the sponsor who frees an absconding worker,” the spokesman added.