The government has released a guideline to help the expatriates understand their work conditions during the outbreak. The list explains what to do if they get sick or if their workplace was one of those affected by the temporary closure. (SEE ALSO: 5 Steps Qatar is Taking to Combat the Pandemic)
These guidelines also apply to those doing domestic work at home. Most importantly, regardless of their status, workers can avail of the free health care from the government.
Workers’ Rights During the Outbreak
The Ministry of Administrative Development Labor and Social Affairs released information for the workers regarding health and work concerns. The outbreak has caused some businesses to close temporarily, and may have resulted in confusion to the workforce.
Here are the key points from the guideline:
1. What to do when a worker develops a symptom?
The worker is advised to stay away from others. He should also call the COVID-19 hotline 16000 or call 999 in need of ambulance
2. How can a worker avail of the healthcare during this time of crisis?
The worker can call the 16000 hotline to get advice if there is a need to self-isolate. Meanwhile, the government will arrange for the worker to be isolated, if needed.
Any worker who tested positive with the virus will be placed in the government-assigned quarantine area, and will be given free medical care, lodging, and food.
Any worker who needs this medical treatment can avail even if they don’t yet have a health card or QID.
3. Will the workers still get paid?
The workers will still receive their basic salary, even if they are receiving treatment or in isolation or in quarantine.
Workers whose employers temporarily stopped operations will still receive their basic salaries and allowances
4. Can the work contract be terminated during the pandemic?
Although employers have the right to terminate contracts, it should still comply with the provisions stated in the Labor Law, and this includes providing airfare to the employee that was terminated.
5. Can the employees use the annual leave or paid leave of their employees who are not able to work or due to reduced services?
Both employers and employees should discuss this aspect. Both parties must agree to use the annual leave or unused leave credits for the business to continue to survive. However, employers are still required to provide all benefits to their employees, including meals and lodging.
6. What will happen to those employees outside the country who cannot return yet?
The employer and employee should discuss the working conditions and benefits. But there should not be any changes in the contract.
7. What happens to the visas and QIDs that will expire during this time?
Workers are advised to go to the Ministry of Interior website to request the renewal of their visas, and also to get updated information.
Workers are also advised to go to Metrash2 app to extend their QIDs.
8. Do these conditions apply to domestic workers as well?
9. Where can workers air their complaints and problems during this time?
Workers can contact the Ministry of Administrative Development Labor and Social Affairs at 16008 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org
We hope that the points discussed in this guideline were able to address the concerns of the workers in Qatar. Should there be any points not covered, the worker can communicate with the ministry concerned.
Here is the statement from the Ministry:
Please take the time to look at these key points that may aid your health and safety at your workplace given the circumstances pic.twitter.com/g7qPBJgGnH
— وزارة التنمية والعمل (@ADLSAQa) March 28, 2020
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