Employers do occasionally end up being held liable to pay unexpected amounts of damages or compensation to employees because the terms of the contract of employment did not contain specific provisions outlining detailed duties and covenants on the part of the employee, or because certain mandatory procedure was not implemented.
Even though the freedom of employers and employees to contract with respect to certain terms and conditions of employment is somewhat restricted by the new Labour Law No: 35/2003 which has replaced Oman Labour Law No: 34/1993, there is still ample room to incorporate important provisions in an employment contract which are vital in order to avoid future disputes and surprises. These include such provisions relating to amount of wages and other terms and conditions of employment generally, provisions affection mode and place of payment of wages, provisions as to working hours and holidays, provisions that concern health, safety, accident notification, insurance against industrial injuries allowances, training and termination of service.
Employees are exempt from court fees and judgments can be appealed to the Court of Appeal and finally to the Supreme Court.
Employers are well advised to always seek legal advice prior to the dismissal of an employee in order to avoid an action for damages being brought for wrongful or unfair dismissal which could, in certain instances, prove costly particularly in the case of fixed term contracts of employment or where the employee has served for several years.