Can freelancers in Oman ever get paid on time?

15 Aug 2018
POSTED BY Alvin Thomas

Bader al Lawati, a Nikon-Instructor and celebrity food photographer, talks about the effectiveness of a Wage Protection System among freelancers.

don’t think a Wage Protection System would work for freelancers as our payments are usually irregular and not scheduled. But I do think that a simplified legal procedure is timely, and is the only thing that would work.

It is widely known that often, you will lose a lot of your time, at best, if you attempt to take your grievance to court. As a freelancer, that is time you could be spending on other projects so this is lost revenue. Therefore, sometimes it is simply not worth it. Several clients make use of freelancers before “ghosting” on them when it comes to clearing payments.

For instance, a well-known hotel I worked with used my services for a small RO150 project and was constantly “unavailable” to sign off on my payment for 10 months.

They knew that it would cost me more if I took it to the legal system and I had no choice but to wait. I found out later that they have done this with quite a few of their suppliers. Other companies use this as a way to pressure freelancers to give “freebees” or discounts. I once worked on a project for a local brand for which I spent five days shooting and as many days editing.  However, when I came back with the final video, I was told that there were changes that had to be made at no extra cost; with the mistakes originating at the client’s side (their employees were not wearing gloves etc). They told me I had to pay for the re-shoot and the models/equipment and any other costs.

I refused as the mistakes had come from their side but I agreed to compromise and do it at cost. They refused and threatened not to pay, and rather than let them bully their way into things, I decided not to play along and they dropped the project refusing to pay for out-of-pocket expenses and work that had already been done.

Setting aside a Wage Protection System, we would essentially require a clearer and faster legal system that would also compensate for our lost time, in Oman.

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