The Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs (MADLSA) should study the possibility of issuing professional identity (ID) badges to skilled workers and technicians in various fields, the Central Municipal Council (CMC) has recommended.
The IDs should be issued based on the outcome of tests conducted at a specialised training centre for the targeted profession, the CMC observed on Tuesday.
The council stressed that the issuance of such IDs – for freelancers as well as company employees – has become a pressing need to protect people from acts of deceit, loss or damage incurred through work done by technicians.
The CMC’s Legal Affairs Committee, headed by council member Sheikha al-Jufairi, had earlier highlighted the importance of the issue in view of the increasing demand for the services of such people in many households. The social and security risks of getting work done by technicians without adequate credentials and ID was also raised.
Besides, it was observed that many people post advertisements in local newspapers and on the Internet claiming that they can carry out certain repairs and technical jobs even though they do not have the required experience or certification.
Accordingly, the CMC recommended that the entities concerned should ensure that such technicians obtain the necessary skills and also make them sit for qualifying tests as a mandatory requirement to issue ID badges.
The suggestion was earlier made by CMC member Fatima Ahmed al-Kuwari in view of the proliferation of such technicians in the local market and complaints from consumers that these workers were often under-skilled.
During a meeting of the Legal Affairs Committee, the panel members pointed out that the ID should include information that introduces the worker, his skills and profession. It should be worn and displayed properly by the technicians so that consumers can easily identify them and avoid incurring any losses or security risks.
The committee observed that some of these workers are freelancers who claim that they do various types of technical work and some companies also hire them on a temporary basis to perform certain jobs.
Meanwhile, the members wondered whether the current legislation allowed for the issuance of such badges. If necessary, the CMC will issue a recommendation to introduce relevant laws, especially for services pertaining to electrical, air-conditioning, plumbing and other works.
Fahd Salem al-Ghanim, assistant director in the Labour Inspection Department who attended the committee’s meeting, explained that under the existing system, the profession mentioned in the employment contract of the worker is indicated on his Qatar ID. So, it is the responsibility of the person looking for a worker to confirm this and check the ID.
Besides, residency permits are not issued for certain specialised professions until the candidate clears certain tests, it was observed. These include physicians, engineers and lawyers, and there are specific organisations regulating their practice.
He, however, noted that the ministry welcomed the CMC’s recommendations in this respect, affirming that the law does not prevent the issuance of professional IDs if the department concerned deems it necessary.
Al-Ghanim added that the MADLSA could consider the implementation of the suggestion, which might require some regulations and a proper mechanism.