Labor Laws in Qatar
Due to Qatar’s strong infrastructure and expanding economy, hundreds and thousands of expatriates have been looking to move there and restart their lives and careers with their families. Today, there are two million people who have found work in Qatar. Lately, the government has been making it a point to ensure the welfare of guest workers so they can stay on comfortably, and the system has been helping to protect both employers and employees.
Even though the labor policy in Qatar has been far from perfect, there have been several changes over the past few years. Qatar has been trying to protect migrant workers to ensure their safety. In recent years, Qatar has:
- Created new laws so most workers do not require exit permits if they want to leave Qatar.
- Introduced procedures that make it easier for employees to switch their jobs. No more No-Objection Certificate (NOC) needed from one’s previous employer.
- Allowed a minimum wage that does not discriminate.
- Ensured that workers are not exploited if they are working from their homelands by introducing 20 Qatar Visa Centers (QVCs) in different parts of the world, including India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, and Tunisia.
- Introduced the Worker’s Support and Insurance Fund to protect workers and ensure their rights so they can work in a healthy environment.
Effective March 2021, Qatar’s Law No. 17 of 2020 set the minimum wage for all private-sector workers, including domestic workers, at QAR 1,000 (Qatari riyals) per month. QAR 500 per month is allocated by the employer for accommodation expenses. Also, QAR 300 per month is allocated for food unless the employer already provides adequate food or accommodation for the employee or domestic worker.
The prior minimum wage was QAR 750 per month.
The concept of a minimum wage is relatively new in the Middle East, and it is believed it will ensure stability and growth in the labor market of Qatar.
The Minister of Administrative Development, Labor, and Social Affairs has also promised a Minimum Wage Committee that will review the requirements of employees and domestic workers each month to ensure fair pay.
The best part about the new reforms is that employees do not need a No-Objection Certificate any longer. In fact, according to the Qatar National Vision 2030, the rights of workers will be protected, and their safety will be ensured. This step will open up doors for new investors, creating more job opportunities and allow Qatar to grow. As competition in the labor market increases, more talent will be produced.
According to the law, employees will be able to find brand-new work opportunities that will strengthen the economy. Moreover, if they want to leave work, employees only need to provide one month’s notice, as long as they have worked with the same employer for two years or less.
Moreover, the law states that while employees can be placed on probation, their probation period cannot exceed six months. This is great news as it ensures that the interest of workers is protected and they are not exploited by their employers.
To learn more about advances in global labor laws in Qatar, click here.