Qatar Government Vows to Protect Rights of Expat Workers

With the new Qatar Labor Law aiming to balance the rights of employers and employees, the Qatar government also ensures balanced relationships between them, the Gulf Times reported.

During a workshop on Labour Law Reform, Yousuf Mohamed al-Othman Fakhro, the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour, & Social Affairs (MADLSA), delivered a speech about the measures being taken by the government to achieve this aim.

Qatar Government’s Commitment to Expat Workers

The Qatar Chamber and the Ministry of Administrative Development, in collaboration with International Labour Organization and the Institute for Human Rights and Business, recently conducted a workshop on the Labour Reform Law.

During the workshop, Undersecretary Fakhro delivered a speech reiterating the government’s commitment in taking all measures to achieve its goals for Qatar employers and workers. These goals include balancing the relationship between employers and protecting the rights of expatriate workers, ensuring a strong and stable labour market, improving the working environment, and increasing investment opportunities.

Launching a package of policies and legislative amendments for a decent work environment for both citizens and expatriates is important to achieve Qatar National Vision 2030 and the goals of the United Nations Agenda for Sustainable Development 2030, Fakhro stressed.

One of the reforms made in the Qatar Labour Law, which is reflected in Labor Law No. 13 of 2018, is the amendment of certain provisions of Law No. 21 of 2015 and Article 7 of the Entry and Exit of Expatriates Law. To protect workers’ rights, exit permits have been abolished, allowing expatriate workers covered under the Labour Law to leave the country temporarily or for good without any exit permit within the work contract duration.

However, employers may submit a prior and reasoned application to the MADSLA with the list of the employees (not accounting for more than 5% of the total number of workers) the employers deem necessary to obtain pre-approval before leaving the country due to the nature of their work. This amendment aims to establish and promote a balanced and productive working relationship between the workers and the employers, and is based on mutual consent and transparency in the contract to preserve the rights of both sides.

In addition to the said amendment, a law was drafted to establish a fund that would support and secure migrant workers, to ensure payment of their dues and to resolve labour disputes, and is currently for Cabinet approval.

Moreover, Qatar, in cooperation with the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs, and the Ministry of Public Health, has contracted an international service provider, Biomat of Singapore, to implement a pilot project that will provide integrated services through a unified channel. These services include complete fingerprinting, medical services for expatriates, and signing of employment contracts outside the country. These services will be provided at a centre called “Qatar Visa Centre”.

Notably, the said project will be implemented over several stages, and the first stage will be implemented in eight countries — Sri Lanka, Philippines, Pakistan, Nepal, Indonesia, Bangladesh, India, and Tunisia. The appointed consultant to the said project is the International Labour Organization, which will provide greater protection for the rights of migrant workers.

With the measures being taken by the Qatar Government for the protection of the rights of expat workers, our dear expats can work productively in Qatar without worrying about their working environment and their working relationship with their employers.

Meanwhile, if you are still looking for a job in Qatar, you can check these top five job sites in Qatar.