The 1.3 million expatriate workers in Qatar are ‘pivotal’ to development and will see increased support from the government, according to the minister of administrative development, labour and social affairs.
Minister Dr Eissa bin Saad Al Jafali Al Nuaimi said that 1.3m expats have already benefitted from the recently implemented wage protection system in Qatar. And with more changes to legislation set for roll out in the coming months, protection of the rights of expat workers is key for the country’s ongoing development.
As reported in Qatar’s daily newspaper The Peninsula, the minister was addressing an event earlier this week to mark the International Workers Day and the World Day for Safety and Health at Work.
Protection of wages
He said that more than 1.3m expats have seen wages safeguarded since the country made it mandatory for employers to transfer workers’ salaries on time to their bank accounts.
The minister noted that Qatar has been keen to protect the rights of foreign workers in the country and will continue to do it, considering their “pivotal role” in development. He said Qatar is also determined to implement occupational health and safety standards in line with international standards.
“The latest of those efforts was to make a new legislation to guarantee protection of workers’ wages. That has made mandatory for employers to transfer their wages on time as per provisions of the labour law and its executive regulations,” he said.
He added that Qatar is continuing to work on developing legislations, improve the work environment and “maintain the stability and dignity of all working people”, with expat workers at the forefront of country’s continued development.
He also stressed the role of Law No 21 of 2015 regulating the entry, exit and residency of expatriate workers that will come into force soon, in safeguarding the rights of both employers and employees under a contractual system.
Several new regulations were forwarded to protect expatriate workers including regulations and specifications for suitable workers’ housing, fixing their duty hours, the regulation regarding outdoor work during summer and establishment of a special section at the ministry for wage protection.
The wage protection scheme was made mandatory in Qatar on November 3 last year under the amended labour law.