Qatar raises minimum wages and lifts the “Kafala” system

Sajin Rasheed, Director

22 September, 2020

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Law No. 17 of 2020 on the Non-discriminatory Minimum Wage and Removing the No-Objection Certificate was published in Qatar’s Official Gazette on 9 September and will come into effect 30 days after its publication, on Friday 9 October 2020. The publication of the law followed an announcement about the reforms issued by the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs on 30 August.

The new minimum wage of 1,000 Qatari riyals will be applicable to all workers. According to the scheme, companies should provide food and accommodation or a combined stipend of 800 riyals.

Initially, the permission from employers was mandatory to switch jobs in Qatar, but it won’t be so from now on. The removal of the “kafala” system, where the migrant worker’s visas were linked to the employer will come into action immediately and the workers will no longer require permission of the employers to change jobs.

Qatar being the host of the 2022 FIFA World cup, changes their labour reforms as a step against the accusations about migrant workers being exploited.

Labour ministry assistant undersecretary Mohammed Hassan Al-Obaidly, said that “the amendment is a huge step towards labour reforms and were made with the best interest of Qatar and its guest workers and employers.”. He also made it a point that the companies that fail to pay wages and provide necessary facilities will face severe penalties under the reforms.

The United Nation’s labour agency praised the government on their decision and said that the reforms will bring more freedom and protection to the workers and employers more choice.

 

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