Minister of Labour and Social Affairs HE Abdullah Saleh Mubarak al-Khulaifi speaking at the conference on ‘Qatar Labourers’ Rights Protection’ in Doha yesterday.

By Joseph Varghese/Staff Reporter

The government has received the report from an  international law firm which was assigned to review and make recommendations for the improvement of existing labour practices in Qatar,  the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, HE Abdullah Saleh Mubarak al-Khulaifi yesterday said.
The minister said the report would be studied in detail and necessary action taken in due course. He was speaking at a conference on ‘Qatar Labourers’ Rights Protection’ in Doha, organised on the occasion of May 1, which is marked as International Labour Day.
The Qatar News Agency (QNA) carried an official statement in this regard which said the government has “received the DLA Piper report on April 30, 2014 and will thoroughly review the findings and study the feasibility and sustainability of the recommendations put forth with the relevant government stakeholders.
“The welfare of workers in the State of Qatar is a matter of utmost importance. We will respond to the recommendations and release the report to the public after our review in alignment with the ongoing steps being taken by the State to improve the labour legislation and conditions of workers.”
Speaking on behalf of the Prime Minister HE Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani, HE al-Khulaifi said: “We will review the recommendations in this report and will form the complete action plan. The details of the whole report will be announced when we finish the process of review and finalise it.”
Qatar had requested international law firm DLA Piper in October 2013 to review  and make recommendations for the improvement of existing labour practices in Qatar  including legislation and workers conditions.
HE al-Khulaifi also told the conference that Qatar was taking a number of steps for the welfare of workers in the country. These included prompt payment of salaries to  all workers, constructing better accommodation for them as well as enforcing more measures for safety of the workers at the construction sites.
The minister said: “We have constructed special buildings for the labourers which will be inaugurated in the coming weeks. These labour accommodations constructed by Barwa Real Estate Company at the Industrial area will be able to accommodate around 100,000 people. Another five complexes also will be built at different areas which will accommodate more than 120,000 labourers. This is in addition to the facilities provided by the private companies. “
He continued to say that the government has already approved the recommendation to make salary transfer through banks mandatory. “We also have recruited more safety inspectors to ensure better safety of the workers. Similarly, there will be more interpreters to make sure that the migrant workers are aware of the clauses in the contracts as well as their rights and obligations.”
The minister also said that the government was actively supporting the Labour Day as an occasion to highlight the welfare of the labourers in the country. “Qatar is taking active initiatives in the interest of the labourers. We want to work with you, celebrate with you and achieve our goals. We are keen to enhance the relationship between the labourers and the employers.”
A white paper on labour rights practices in Qatar was also released at the conference. Page 2

Qatar seeks to protect workers’ rights: PM

HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani said that the State of Qatar, through its public and private institutions, seeks to meet the needs of the workers such as modern residential complexes, and advanced legislative systems that protect workers’ rights without prejudice to the rights of employers.
He announced that many measures were taken to improve the conditions of expatriate workforce, adding that the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs is currently working on amending the Labour Law to conform with international labour standards, particularly the Wages Protection System (WPS).
HE the Prime Minister affirmed that the Ministry of Labour is committed to achieving the vision of HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad
al-Thani, represented in Qatar National Vision 2030, adding that the ministry in collaboration with the relevant government ministries, has taken a series of actions aimed at improving the conditions of migrant workers and reducing labour complaints.
He pointed out that the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, has started the practical steps of the WPS in collaboration with Qatar Central Bank and the Ministry of Finance, adding that the Labour Law amendment will be completed soon.
HE the Prime Minister urged the employers not to exploit the workers’ need for work, stressing that workers have the right not be overworked.

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