Preparations are under way to introduce a minimum wage for workers in Qatar, HE the Minister of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs Dr Issa Saad al-Jafali al-Nuaimi has said.
This would be done by taking into account the adequacy of the wage level in providing for the basic needs of workers and enabling them to live at an appropriate humanitarian level, he explained.
The statements were made during a meeting of HE the Minister with ambassadors and heads of diplomatic missions in Qatar on Tuesday, the official Qatar News Agency (QNA) reported.
He stressed that the State was in the process of taking further important measures in support of the rights of expatriate workers, including the establishment of an employment support fund, which would allow for the payment of overdue wages to workers in cases where their employers had delayed payments for any reason.
The project is currently undergoing legislative procedures.
It was also revealed that the total number of beneficiaries of the Wage Protection System (WPS) so far is 2,477,944 (2.47mn), while the total number of companies registered in the system to date is 49,389. This information was provided as HE the Minister reviewed the efforts of Qatar in promoting and guaranteeing the rights of workers through legislation and latest developments in the field of protection and care of the rights of expatriate workers, most notably Law No 1 of 2015, which introduced the Wage Protection System in Qatar.
Under the WPS, companies are obliged to transfer the salaries of all workers - through the system - to their accounts in any financial institution in the State. The law also punishes companies that delay or refrain from paying salaries.
Meanwhile, HE Dr al-Nuaimi said the ministry has signed 36 bilateral agreements and five memorandums of understanding with countries sending labour in order to provide basic legal protection for expatriate workers before bringing them to Qatar.
He then shed light on Law No 21 of 2015 regulating the entry and exit of expatriates and their residence, which granted workers the freedom to change their employer and leave the country.
Further, he explained the importance of Law No 15 of 2017 on domestic workers, which provides legal protection for this category and regulates the legal relationship between a domestic worker and an employer.
HE the Minister also referred to steps taken to simplify litigation procedures for workers as well as the efforts undertaken to combat human trafficking.