Oman says 57,000 expat workers abscond during H1

Ministry of Manpower figures reveal that 3% of the country's total expat workforce flee employers in first half of 2015
Almost 60,000 expat workers have absconded from their employers in Oman since the beginning of the year. (AFP/Getty Images)
By Neha Bhatia
Tue 21 Jul 2015 01:57 PM

At least 57,000 expatriate workers have absconded from their employers in Oman since the beginning of 2015, according to figures released by the Sultanate's Ministry of Manpower.

In the first six months of the year, 57,420 expat workers - 3 percent of the total 1.8 million expat workers in Oman - fled their employers.  

The ministry's figures come less than 10 days before its amnesty for illegal expat workers ends on 30 July, 2015. 

“These are alarming figures," a member of Majlis Al Shura (Consultative Assembly of Oman) told local daily Times of Oman.

"[The] Ministry of Manpower needs to study and find out the reason why so many employees abscond. Maybe a new rule, such as finding and deporting them after three months from the date they are reported absconding, may be a good idea to curb the worsening problem.”

The member continued: “If they [employees] have issues with their bosses, [then] they should approach the Ministry of Manpower to help them sort it out instead of running away. The Ministry of Manpower ensures the rights of every resident who is on a work visa in Oman." 

Rashid Khalfan, owner of a construction company, told the daily that three of his employees ran away during the last Eid holidays.

“While we give them a break to enjoy their holidays, the workers prefer to abscond," Khalfan said.

"This is despite paying them their dues as per their contract. What I think is that some of their friends convince them that if they abscond they can earn more and work less elsewhere,” he added. 

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