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Qatar Introduces Minimum Wage & New Labor Regulations

Qatar has introduced new labour laws and regulations, including minimum wage for foreign workers

For the first time in its history, Qatar will be enforcing a minimum wage salary to workers and other labor regulations.

In a bid to ensure foreign workers’ rights and wellbeing, Qatar has announced that they will be introducing a minimum wage law for the first time ever.

The country also announced the signing of bilateral accords with some 36 countries, from which most of Qatar’s two million workers originate, to provide their nationals with legal protection while working in the country.

More foreign workers are expected to be arriving at Hamad International in the coming years as Qatar is speeding up construction mega-projects in time for the 2022 World Cup.

A minimum wage would aim to “meet the necessary needs of the worker to live at an appropriate humanitarian level,” said Mr. Issa Saad Al Jafali Al Nuaimi, Minister of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs.

Nearly three years ago, in February 2015, the country introduced the Wage Protection System to ensure that all foreign workers were paid their full salaries on time.

The new regulations forced companies to pay salaries electronically, either monthly or fortnightly.

The new labor regulations were welcomed by both the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), both of which had earlier called on Qatar to ensure the wellbeing of foreign workers.

In December last year, Qatar also ended the Kafala system – a law that required foreign workers to get permission from a Qatari sponsor to change jobs or leave the country.

According to the ITUC, these latest reforms ensures:

  • A minimum wage for all workers
  • Employees can leave the country without the need of employer approval
  • IDs for foreign workers will be issued by the state
  • Businesses shall set up employee committees and complaints offices

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