The Qatar government’s decision to abolish the Kafala (sponsorship) system will benefit a huge number of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and those who are planning to work in the country, Philippine Labour Secretary Silvestre Bello III has said.
Speaking at a live online programme of the Department of Labour and Employment, Bello III told reporters that many Filipinos will be encouraged to work in Qatar.
“Many Filipinos will benefit from such move and many of our workers will be encouraged to go to Qatar,” he said. “But even before that (scrapping of the Kafala system), Qatar has been a good place for deployment because relatively their treatment to our workers is good.”
Law No. 21 of 2015 abolished the Kafala system and replaced it with a contract-based system that guarantees greater flexibility, freedom and protection to Qatar’s more than 2.1mn expatriate workforce.
Qatar also introduced a non-discriminatory minimum wage package for all private sector workers, including domestic workers last month. It also abolished the No-Objection Certificate (NOC) requirement to change jobs as part of its labour reform programme.
Such move forms part of Qatar’s efforts to protect the interests of both employers and employees – a major step forward of the country’s labour reform programme.
According to Law No. 17 of 2020 on Setting the Minimum Wage for Workers and Domestic Workers sets the minimum wage for all private sector workers, including domestic workers, at QR1,000 per month as a basic wage, as well as QR 500 per month allocated by the employer for accommodation expenses and QR300 per month for food, unless the employer already provides adequate food or accommodation for the employee or domestic worker.
MADLSA will be working with employers to update all employment contracts where workers earn less than the amount established by the new Law, which will come into force after six months of its publication in the official gazette.
Philippine Labour Secretary Silvestre Bello III