On October 17th, 2019, the Minister of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs, H.E. Yousuf Mohamed Al Othman Fakhroo, announced that the State Cabinet approved several reforms related to foreign workers. The issues subject to further reform are Qatar’s minimum wage, it’s exit-visa requirements, and working conditions for employees.
During the the 100th anniversary of the International Labour Organization (ILO), which was held at the Katara cultural village, the Minister stated that “the State Cabinet also approved a draft law to make rules to ease transfer of workforce to other employers during contract period to ensure the rights of both parties (employer and employees)…”
Previously, employees were required to gain approval from their current employer in order to transfer to another position within an outside company, increasing the chances of abuse. The draft law allocates increased rights to the employee while facilitating transitions for the employer.
The State Cabinet approved another draft law that terminates exit permits for workers who are not subject to or benefit from Qatar’s labour laws.
Most notably, the legislation included and instituted the following provisions: a wage protection system; a labour disputes settlement committee; a workers’ support and insurance fund; a law regulating entry, exit and residency of the expatriates and, lastly, a national committee for combating human trafficking. Additionally, the ILO stated the latest reforms were unanimously agreed by Qatar’s governing council of ministers (State Cabinet). The next step to implementation is the passage through the nation’s advisory (shura) council. Once that occurs, the Amir of Qatar is expected to approve the changes and issue a decree sometime in January.
The Ministry, with support and requested oversight from the ILO, has worked tirelessly to improve the working conditions and welfare of its workers. Qatar seems to be committed to creating a more holistic and secure work environment for all of its workers, and demonstrates the country’s reliability in implementing reforms to the international community.
(Image Source: Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy)