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Times of Oman 27th March 2016

‘Imposing a clear rule for private sector quite hard’

Employees have the freedom to accept it or look for better offers from other companies.

“The government only interfered in the minimum wages for Omani in the private sector only to push citizens to join the private sector,” noted Al Saadi.

He explained that while it is always better to set a clear salary structure for private sector employees, but imposing a clear rule is quite hard. “The ministry come across several cases involving salary structure and the ministry always tries to negotiate with the companies and employees to settle the issue individually,” Al Saadi pointed out.

Ahmed Mohammed Hamdan, a graduate with a few years of work experience, said that lack of salary structure scale in the private sector is disappointing for jobseekers. “When I joined a reputed company in Muscat, I felt that the salary provided by them was not equivalent to my qualifications and skills. A majority of staff in the office had the same opinion. And there were a lot of noises in the office among the workers. If the labour law includes or chalks out a clear strategy for well defined salary structures in the private sector, then it would be a boon for the job aspirants and employees in private sector,” Ahmed said.

Aadil Al Saadi, a Sloan fellowship holder in Leadership and Strategy from the London Business School, said regulations, compensation, compliance and performance monitoring, and appraisal should be streamlined to be employee-employer centric instead of being conflicting redtape centric one.

“From my personal experience and struggle working in the private sector for six years before moving to the government sector, the salaries are not the determining factors that discourage Omanis. Instead, it is the poor pension schema, the mounting red-tape associated with PASI compensation procedures and most importantly the incongruence between Ministry of Manpower employment policies, and the oversight of compliance to an outdated labour law that needs to be revamped,” Aadil added.

Meanwhile, Tonia Gray, general manger at Competence HR, said that there are now many companies in the private sector that have a grading/salary structure scheme in place and obviously it is good HR practice to implement such a scheme.

“However, I do not think that having a scheme in place is a determining factor in encouraging anyone to join a company or not. I have never had anyone in Oman ask me whether a company has a grading structure during any recruitment process except in government sectors, where the candidates will ask what the grade of the job is,” Tonia said.

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