Qatar has reiterated its commitment to continue taking all measures aimed at balancing the relationship between employers and protecting the rights of expatriate workers, ensuring a strong and stable labour market, improving the working environment and increasing investment opportunities.
Qatar also stressed the importance of launching a package of policies and legislative amendments to achieve the goal of decent work environment for both citizens and expatriates in order to achieve Qatar National Vision 2030 and the goals of the United Nations Agenda for Sustainable Development 2030.
This came in a speech delivered yesterday by the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs, Yousuf Mohamed al-Othman Fakhro, during a workshop on labour law reform organised by Qatar Chamber and the Ministry of Administrative Development in collaboration with International Labour Organisation, and the Institute for Human Rights and Business.
He also expressed his appreciation for the efforts of the employers’ representatives and their role in raising awareness about the government’s reform programmes, whether at the level of legislation or procedures aimed at creating a work environment that encourages the business sector.
Fakhro referred to Qatar’s reforms in the protection of workers’ rights including Law No 13 of 2018 amending the provisions of Article 7 of the Entry and Exit of Expatriates Law which abolished the exit permits for workers, subject to the provisions of the Labour Law.
His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani had last month issued Law No 13 of 2018, amending certain provisions of Law No 21 of 2015 regulating the entry, exit and residency of expatriates, which allows expatriate workers covered under the Labour Law to leave the country temporarily or for good without any exit permit within the work contract duration.
However, employers may submit a prior and reasoned application to the MADLSA with the names of employees that they deem necessary to obtain pre-approval before leaving the country due to the nature of their work. Such workers shall not account for more than 5% of the total number of employees.
Fakhro stressed that the legislative amendments introduced to the Labour law aimed to establish and promote a balanced and productive working relationship between the two parties, the reference to fair use and work contract and based on mutual consent and transparency in the contract to preserve the rights of both sides.
He referred to the Cabinet approval of a draft law to establish a fund to support and secure migrant workers, to ensure payment of their dues ordered by the committees to resolve labour disputes.
He added that Qatar, in co-operation with the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs and the Ministry of Public Health, has contracted an international service provider, Biomat of Singapore, to implement a pilot project to provide integrated services through a unified channel to complete fingerprinting, medical services for expatriates, as well as the signing of employment contracts outside the country, where all these services will be provided at a centre called “Qatar Visa Centre”.
He pointed out that the “Qatar Visa Centre” project will be implemented in several stages. In the first stage it will be implemented in 8 countries, namely Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Pakistan, Nepal, Indonesia, Bangladesh, India and Tunisia. The International Labour Organisation has been appointed as a consultant to the project, in order to provide greater protection for the rights of migrant workers.
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