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The Sultanate of Oman will cancel No-Objection-Certificate (NOC) for expatriate workers who wish to transfer their services to different sponsors upon the end or termination of their services with existing sponsors. The decision to cancel NOCs will be enforced from 2021 with the aim of making the labour market more attractive and competitive, according to a report by Oman News Agency.

The amendment will help protect the rights of expatriate workers who come under pressure from some employers who use NOC to deprive expatriates who quit from working in the Sultanate for two years after the termination of their services.

It will also allow employers to sign non-disclosure agreement (NDA) or secrecy agreement with workers. The NDA secures the employer’s right that his employee will not move to a direct competitor after the end of the contract period.

The move will also enhance the Sultanate’s status vis-à-vis international organisations that protect labour rights and combat human trafficking.

The decision fits with Oman Vision 2040 as the Sultanate takes certain priorities into account by addressing issues that affect its quest to be in the forefront of advanced countries.  In the past, the NOC issue, in particular, influenced Oman’s rating in the Global Competitiveness Report issued by the World Economic Forum.

The Sultanate’s agreement to join the International Covenant on Social, Economic and Cultural Rights is considered a basic point of reference in its decision to remove the Non Objection Certificate. His Majesty Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik issued a Royal decree on the ratification of the Sultanate’s joining the Covenant on April 7, 2020.

The decision in based on the economic and social principles stated in the Basic Law of the State, as well as mandates of the International Covenant on Social, Economic and Cultural Rights, which the Sultanate joined on the April 7, 2020 vide provisions cited under Royal Decree No.46/2020.

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