What to Do When Your Employer Becomes Abusive

The Kafala system has just been abolished by the Qatar authorities and introduced a new labor law that aims to safeguard the rights of the expat workers in the country. The elimination of the much-abused Kafala system has been greatly welcomed by most workers and considered to be the start of the reformation process by experts.

There are still employers, who in spite of the many policies set to protect the workers, exploit employees by withholding wages or paying only half of what was stated on their contract. Some even go to the extent of torturing their employees.

New Labour Law To Educate Workers about their Rights

The Ministry of Administrative Development, Labor and Social Affairs (MADLSA) collaborated with the Ministry of Communication and Transport and installed kiosk in many labor camps with the objective of educating the workers and let them be aware of their rights as specified by the new law.

Another goal of this collaboration is to address problems involving minority exploitative employers, who despite the strict law, still take undue advantage of their employees’ circumstances.

Authorities want the aggrieved workers to be assured that they can bring forth their unfortunate plight to the authorities without any fear of repercussions from their employers.

         File your complaints at the office of MADLSA © Juanedc.com/Flickr

Awareness on Employees’ Rights and Duties

MADLSA is encouraging workers to report any violation or abuse that they have experienced or are experiencing. For aside from raising awareness among employees about their rights, the department also wants workers to know their duties under the law. Reports of violation can be done online or in person at the Ministry headquarters or in its branches in the Industrial Area.

Process in filing a Complaint to Your Employer

The process for filing complaints against an abusive employer is very simple. Please see the steps below for reference.

  1. You would be required to submit a special complaint form with your signature and ID picture to the Ministry’s office who then will verify your complaint.And should you wish to file a case online, the same form will have to be filled out.
  2. After submitting the complaint form, you will receive an SMS from the Labor Relations Department stating your formal complaint. The same message will then be sent to your employer.
  3. In both methods of complaining, both parties (employee and employer) will be asked to appear at the office of the Ministry for an amicable resolution of the problem. Further investigation on the said complaint will then be transferred to a court for settlement if amicable resolution is not achieved in the Ministry.

    The Industrial Area of Doha © Joi Ito /Flickr

The Hukoomi Portal of Qatari Government

To further ensure the effectiveness of this law, the Ministry has installed 11 machines that operate in 11 languages specifically for the ease of access for the employees. They plan to increase the number to 100 within the country.

To quote the statement from the Hukoomi portal of Qatari Government: ‘Qatari Labor Law guarantees rights and payments of labor from different nationalities. Workers who are working in different companies and institutions inside Qatar can submit labor complaint to Work Relations Department at the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labor and Social Affairs (MADLSA) in case of dispute between workers and their employer.’

The special complaint form can be downloaded from the Hukoomi portal. Should you have any more questions, visit the office of the Labor Relations Department at the MADLSA headquarters.