More Than 240,000 Workers in Qatar Changed Occupations After Reforms

  • Publish date: Tuesday، 14 June 2022
More Than 240,000 Workers in Qatar Changed Occupations After Reforms

Despite the obvious gains, the organization emphasized the importance of fully implementing labor laws.

Following the implementation of historic labor reform in Qatar, a total of 242,870 workers were permitted to swap employment between October 2020 and 2021, according to the UN's International Labour Organization (ILO).

In 2018, 8,653 workers were able to change employment, according to new ILO data. Between September 2019 and August 2020, this increased to 17,843, just months before the Kafala system was dismantled in October of that year.

Workers were unable to freely change jobs due to the divisive system. Despite the fact that it has been effectively abolished, the ILO claims that some workers still experience difficulties navigating the process or face retaliation from their employers when changing jobs.

Qatari Minister of Labour expressed his satisfaction at being elected as Vice President of the International Labour Conference.

Other numbers issued by the ILO underlined Qatar's success since implementing labor reforms in recent years, following close collaboration with the UN organization.

By March 2021, more than 280,000 workers, largely in the construction industry, had seen their basic pay increase, according to the ILO. This came after the region's first non-discriminatory minimum-wage law went into effect during the same period.

A minimum-wage rule was enacted in order to create a level playing field for all workers.

Monthly minimum pay of QAR 1,000 was established by the minimum-wage law, which also included basic living allowances for some workers. Employers that break the law will be sentenced to a year in prison and fined QAR 10,000.

The Wage Protection System (WPS) was said to protect 75 percent of workers in 2019, with that percentage rising to 96 percent in 2020.

"The WPS keeps track of how much private-sector workers are paid. It has reduced wage abuses and wage disputes," according to the ILO, which also noted that non-payment of wages and benefits is still the most common complaint to Qatar's Ministry of Labour (MOL).

Meanwhile, since the MOL created a portal in May 2021 that allows employees to file concerns, the total number of complaints filed by workers has grown.

In 2020, there were 11,703 complaints made, but in 2021, there were 24,650. Seventy-five percent of the complaints filed last year were resolved, twenty-four percent were brought to labor courts, and one percent are still being investigated.

According to the ILO, "the introduction of an online complaints mechanism made it easier to report labor rights breaches."

The MOL has increased its company monitoring campaigns to ensure that the new policies are fully applied. In 2019, the ministry carried out 21,644 inspections, 33,546 in 2020, and 33,880 in 2021.

Despite the fact that the government has enacted laws, certain employers have been accused of breaking them.

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