Muscat: Forcing local and expatriate workers in Oman to go on unpaid leave during the current COVID-19 situation as a way to avoid paying them their salaries is a violation, the General Federation of Oman Workers has said.
The federation said so after receiving 30 reports of violations of workers’ rights in just five days. These violations concerned the deduction of wages, forcing workers to leave on unpaid vacation, and companies failing to reduce the number of employees present at a place of work.
The federation said in a statement, “The number of violations observed is constantly increasing and does deal with a number of humanitarian aspects of the expatriate workforce, some of which are related to the minimum requirements for living, such as the availability of adequate housing, food and the payment of wages.”
In addition to the above, the General Federation of Oman Workers observed that the days workers spent at home under quarantine were being deducted from those allocated towards their annual leave, a practice that also constituted a violation.
“Private sector institutions need to exert more effort to protect the national and expatriate workforce and commit to paying their wages, as well as ensure the availability of the necessary health standards at their workplace and residences,” said the GFOW. “There is the need to make them aware of the precautionary measures issued by the competent authorities.”
“The federation will continue to monitor violations of the rights of the national and expatriate workforce in the private sector, and those violations will be dealt with in coordination with the competent authorities,” added the organisation.