Qatar has signed 41 agreements - 36 bilateral agreements and five MoUs - with the countries sending workers to Qatar, providing legal protection to expatriate workers before bringing them to the country.
The Qatari Minister of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs Issa bin Saad al Jafali revealed this during his meeting with ambassadors and heads of diplomatic missions to Qatar last week.
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The minister reviewed the legislative measures undertaken by the country to protect the rights of workers, most notably Law No. (1) of 2015, which introduces the wage protection system, or 'minimum wage' for expat workers.
"Qatar is in the process of taking further important measures to support the rights of expat workers, including the establishment of an employment support fund, which will allow for the payment of overdue wages to workers if their employers delay payments for any reason," Jafali said.
Preparations are under way to implement a minimum wage for workers in the country, taking into account the wage level to meet the necessities of the workers and to let them have a decent life, he added.
The law requires each company to transfer the salaries to the bank accounts of the workers through the system. Delay or non-payment of salaries would draw punishments. More than 49,380 companies are registered under this system, benefiting around 2,477,944 workers.
Jafali also shed light on Law No. (21) of 2015 regulating the entry and exit of expatriates and their freedom to change the employer.
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The labour minister explained the importance of the promulgation of Law No. (15) of 2017 on domestic workers, which is meant to ensure their legal protection and define the relationship between the worker and the employer by spelling out the working hours, leave terms, end of service benefits, complaints mechanism and other provisions.
The minister noted that the issuance of Law No. (13) of 2017 amending certain provisions of the Labour Law which established the labour dispute settlement committee and simplified the procedures of litigation for the worker, in the context of Qatar’s keenness to develop mechanisms that facilitate the expatriate worker to quickly fulfill his or her rights.
Jafali also referred to Cabinet decision No. (15) of 2017 establishing the National Committee for Combating Human Trafficking to act as the national coordinator for monitoring, preventing and combating human trafficking, and finalising the national strategy to combat human trafficking.
The meeting comes within the framework of the awareness campaign carried out by the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs to introduce the latest legislation issued by Qatar and the measures taken to protect and support the rights of expatriate workers in the country.
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