Tanfeedh Highlights Initiative on Developing Judicial System Related to Labour Market

In support of the economic

diversification through which the Sultanate seeks to improve the

business environment and reduce dependence on oil in the GDP, the

Implementation Support and Follow-up Unit of the Diwan of Royal

Court has initiated the development of the judicial system in relation to

the labour market issues as one of the initiatives of the labour market

and employment sector within Government plans and programmes.

The initiative on labour market issues will increase the

efficiency of judges involved in the labour market and employment

sector and the Ministry of Manpower, upgrade the compatibility of

provisions and reduce the period of conflict resolution to nearly 200

days, which will support the business environment and improve the

labour market and employment.

The initiative came due to the length of issuing labour cases or

the issuance of contradictory rulings that negatively impacted the ease

of doing business in the Sultanate. Labour disputes need to find quick

and effective solutions to reduce costs and adversely affect employers

and employees. The Ministry of Manpower signed a cooperation

programme with the Ministry of Justice, represented by the Supreme

Judicial Institute in Nizwa to train and qualify a number of judges of the

labour departments and personnel of the Public Prosecution, as well

as a number of dealers in the investigation and settlement of labour

disputes. This move translates the Government’s keenness through the

concerned parties to develop tools and procedures to resolve issues

that occur among the production stakeholders; employers and

employees, in accordance with the provisions of the laws and

regulations governing that relationship and to expedite the resolution of

cases presented before both the specialists of the Ministry of

Manpower or the courts. This programme was prepared by all parties

and members of the Initiative, which was discussed for six weeks

during the labs of enhancing economic diversification during the period

from 17 September 2016 to 26 October 2016. The cooperation

programme was signed to be executed during three years, with a

renewable period. The initiative represents a confirmation of the

principle of partnership among the different units at the state

administrative apparatus, as well as educational and academic

institutions in the Sultanate. Under this programme, the Institute

implements a series of specialised training programmes in the fields

related to the settlement of labour disputes.

The system of conflict resolution in the Sultanate faces many

challenges that limit the development of the labour market and

employment, including the lack of harmonization of judicial decisions

and the length of time of litigation that continue in some cases for

nearly 600 days, as well as the high proportion of disputes brought to

justice, 40% of all disputes, of which 44% are referred to the Court of

Appeal, thus increasing the length of time required to resolve a case.

The initiative also provides four strategies to address labour

market and employment disputes, reduce the time required to resolve

disputes and reduce the number of cases presented before the courts

by expanding the scope of work and competencies of the Compromise

and Reconciliation Committees in the Ministry of Justice to deal with

the plaintiff and the defendant after referring the case by the Ministry of

Manpower, thus the case reaches the courts, as well as reducing the

time required to resolve the disputes by redistributing the competent

judges in labour cases to the governorates where there are many

cases, in addition to training, qualifying and appointing judges

specialised in labour issues.

The labour market and employment sector came up with 13

initiatives, including facilitation of temporary and part-time work

procedures, flexibility of labour movement, e-organisation of smooth

human capital flow (a unified portal to facilitate the issuance of work

permits), a package of facilities for construction workers, (Omanisation

policies), establishing a sustainable system for the development,

management, modernisation and application of professional standards

for the three target sectors, strengthening the capacity of the Oman

Academic Accreditation Authority (OAAA) to complete and implement

the Omani Qualifications Framework and enable it to implement the

accreditation system on academic, technical and vocational education

sectors (including professional certificates), enhancing the potential of

aligning graduates with labour market requirements by raising private

sector participation in boards of trustees and management of higher

education institutions, launching the national leadership development

programme to enable the Omani middle and upper managements in

the private sector, consolidation of employment efforts for jobseekers

(National Employment Centre), strengthening the attractiveness of the

private sector to the national workforce, developing and improving the

judicial system related to the labour market, providing job opportunities

through empowering SMEs, establishing sectoral associations in order

to enhance the process of communication and coordination in the

labour market, and adoption of the national definition of jobseekers in

accordance with the standards of the International Labour Organization

(ILO).

The Implementation Support and Follow-up Unit is currently

monitoring the implementation of two government programmes, namely

the National Programme for Enhancing Economic Diversification

(Tanfeedh), which includes 74 initiatives in the tourism, manufacturing

and logistics sectors, as well as the operational, financial and

innovative finance sectors, the Fisheries Labs, which include 91

initiatives and projects, in addition to the “Sharaka” Program or

“Partnership Programme,” which was initiated by the Diwan of Royal

Court that includes 13 initiatives in the field of improving the business

environment.

The Unit supports and follows-up the implementation of initiatives

and projects to enhance economic diversification through coordination

with the concerned authorities and the officials concerned with

implementation, represented in the steering committees for each

sector, which works to follow up the completion of the projects, in

addition to providing support and follow-up to the sectoral taskforces of

the initiatives, which include Omani cadres and specialised experts

from the public and private sectors.

Source: Oman News Agency