Qatar Celebrates 100 years of International Labour Organization (ILO)

Qatar Celebrates 100 years of International Labour Organization

The Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs (ADLSA) celebrated the 100th anniversary of the founding of the International Labour Organization (ILO) at Katara Cultural Village on Wednesday, 16th October 2019.

H.E. the Minister of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs Yousuf Mohamed Al Othman Fakhroo spoke on the centenary occasion underlining the fact that Qatar was keen to launch a package of policies and legislative amendments to achieve decent work to help establish and strengthen balanced working relations with its reference to work contracts.

H.E. the Minister also announced the Cabinet’s adoption of new legislation related to the approval of the draft minimum wage law, to establish controls to facilitate the transfer of workers to another employer during the contract period and to preserve the rights of both parties. It also included a draft law to abolish exit permits and apply to parties not subject to the provisions of the Qatari Labor Law as well as domestic workers. Such legislation will be enforced immediately after the end of its legislative session.

His Excellency expressed Qatar’s appreciation for the technical support provided by the ILO to achieve the outputs of the Technical Cooperation Program.

The Minister stated that ADLSA was keen on continuing the constructive co-operation with the ILO Office in Doha to implement mutually agreed action plans and stressed that the participation of Qatar in the centenary celebrations of the International Labour Organization was an acknowledgment of the organisation’s considerable efforts in the field of work over 100 years, which was proof of the close partnership between the ILO and the State of Qatar.

ADLSA had during the past few years build a suitable work environment based on work contracts for the welfare of workers and the Ministry had made a number of new laws and upgraded existing ones.

The Minister said that Qatar through the Central Bank had released commemorative coins on the occasion the centenary celebrations thus recognizing the role of ILO in establishing social justice and a great cooperation between Qatar and the International Labour Organization in the labour sector.

The event was organised by ADLSA in cooperation with ILO and other stockholders under the theme ‘The Future of Work in Qatar’.

Addressing the event, Deputy Director-General for Field Operations and Partnerships, Moussa Oumarou, congratulated the Minister for the landmark reforms announced in front of the august assembly.

“I thank you on behalf of the ILO for taking this bold and transformative step, a first in this region. ILO stands ready to support Qatar with the modalities of their enforcement,” he added.

Oumarou also stated that a team of dedicated ILO professionals are working closely with ADLSA colleagues here in Qatar, supporting the ambitious labour reforms that nation has embarked on and they facilitate dialogue on day-to-day basis between the government, employers, and workers to ensure that the reforms that are being considered have everyone’s support and buy-in.

“Two weeks ago, for example, the ILO was parts of a dialogue between MADLSA, the Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in cooperation with the International Organization of Employers, on the role of business in migration governance and labour reforms,” he added.

Qatar joined the Organization in 1972 and an ILO office was established in Doha in 2018 to support the Government’s business process development program.

Image Credit: menafn.com

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Qatar announces major reforms regarding expat workforce and the labour market

Qatar announces major reforms regarding expat workforce and the labour market

The Ministry of Interior (MoI) and the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs (ADLSA) jointly held a press conference last week, proposing three major reforms in some laws regulating expatriate workers and the labour market.

The press conference was attended by Mohammad Ahmed Al-Ateeq – Director General of Passports, Hasan al Obaidly – Assistant Undersecretary of Labour and Ahmed Abdullah al Haremi – Assistant Director of Legal Affairs Department.

In what is seen by many as a significant landmark to support expatriate communities living in Qatar, the three proposals to be implemented soon include permission for sons of expatriates to work without changing their sponsorship, temporary work visas for up to 6 months and 20 % reduction in the fees for online transactions of all services provided by MoI.

Mohammad Ahmed Al-Ateeq explained that the proposal to allow sons of expatriate residents to work in the private sector without changing their sponsorship was carefully studied and given its various advantages it was finally decided to take legislative measures to implement the same.

Currently, only daughters are allowed to work under their father’s sponsorship without changing their sponsorship. As per the new proposal, all members of the family will be allowed to work without changing their family sponsorship.

Hasan al Obaidly stated that the new proposal will bring positive results in labour market and benefit both Qatari citizens and residents alike in taking advantage of this untapped workforce.

“The new proposal will reduce recruitment of marginal labour surplus required by the labour market, costs of recruitment and housing expenses for the employer. Employers can take advantage of their familiarity with the customs and traditions of the Qatari society,” he added.

In order to encourage the public in taking advantage of MOIs electronic services and to simplify the process, a new proposal to reduce the fee for electronic transactions was studied and a 20 percent reduction for all online transactions has been agreed upon.

Abdullah al Haremi said the proposals that have been studied need amendments in related legislative tools governing these categories. The work is underway to prepare and amend the legislation and submit it to the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers to complete its legislative procedures, he added.

The Director-General of Passports also announced the proposal to introduce a new temporary work visa system for some professions and jobs in order to accommodate the need of the labour market and create a suitable environment for domestic and foreign investment.

These visas will be granted to private companies, commercial establishments and other licensed entities in the country to perform emergency, temporary or seasonal work that requires the workforce for a specific period, season or occasion.

As per the new proposal, these visas will be issued by MoI after the approval by the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs, while all required procedures will be carried out through Qatar Visa Centres abroad or when such workers arrive in the country.

Temporary work visas valid for one month will be charged QR 300 and for two months QR 500. Visas valid from 3 to 6 months will be charged 200 for each month, the MoI official said.

Meanwhile, local expatriate business communities have welcomed the proposals stating that allowing sons of expats to work in Qatar without changing sponsorship is a big relief for many parents.

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Workers’ arrears paid in full after matter brought to government’s notice

Workers arrears paid in full after matter brought to  government’s notice

QNA Doha

The salaries of all the employees, who on August 4 staged a peaceful protest in the Sheehaniya area demanding their wages of three months, have been paid in full within two days of the matter coming to the notice of the authorities, it was announced on yesterday.

A statement issued by the Government Communications Office (GCO) said an investigation was launched immediately after the guest workers “conducted a peaceful strike in response to the non-payment of salaries by their employers in May, June and July 2019”.

Following the investigation, the authorised signatories of the two companies in question were arrested and it was found that salaries had been delayed following a period of negative cash flow at both companies, caused by non-payments elsewhere in the supply chain.

“By August 6, 2019, after consultation with all stakeholders, the outstanding salaries of all workers were paid in full through the Wage Protection System (WPS),” the GCO said.

“Workers also have the right to change their employer due to the violation of Qatar’s labour laws. The Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs (ADLSA) is co-ordinating with all workers who choose to exercise this legal right,” the statement said.

“The Government of Qatar is committed to improving the Wage Protection System to ensure that workers’ wages are paid on time and that wage arrears are systematically settled.”

The GCO said ADLSA continues to conduct its programme of workshops throughout Qatar to raise awareness of the complaint mechanisms in place for guest workers. “If a worker identifies a workplace violation, they are encouraged to lodge a complaint at a Government Service Center or at one of Qatar’s complaint kiosks.

“The Government of Qatar places the utmost importance on strengthening the rights of its guest workers and ensuring that all companies respect these rights and adhere to Qatar’s labour laws,” the statement added

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Work time bans in open areas from today in Qatar – Ministry to intensify inspections on summer

Work time bans in open areas from today in Qatar – Ministry to intensify inspections on summer

Starting from today (15th June 2019), the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs (ADLSA) will intensify inspections on work sites to ensure companies comply with the summer hours work ban rule, according to a report in the local daily Qatar Tribune.

Qatar’s stringent labour laws ban companies from sending their workers to operate in open areas from 11:30 am to 3 pm during the summer months. The Work time ban comes into effect from today (15th of June).

ADLSA inspectors will also check on the air- conditioning system in the resting places for labourers, during the noon break. Hefty fines and/or even a total closure can be imposed on companies that do not comply with this law. Inspectors have the authority to close down the working site for up to one month for violations. Companies have been notified to clearly display the working time schedules for the benefit of their workers and ADLSA inspectors.

Ministry to intensify inspections on summer - Work time bans in open areas from today - QatarIndians.com

Ministry to intensify inspections on summer. Work time bans in open areas from today. Image Source: @ADLSAQA

Meanwhile, according to QNA, Qatar is participating in the 108th Session of the International Labour Conference, which is currently being held in the Swiss capital, Geneva, with a delegation headed by HE Yousef bin Mohamed al-Othman Fakhroo, Minister of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs. The conference, which includes representatives of the ministry, employers, and workers, will continue until 21st June.

It will include a number of committees to discuss international conventions and standards. And also the commitment of these countries to these conventions. Additionally, it will also discuss a draft convention against violence and harassment and the draft declaration of the centenary celebration of the International Labour Organisation.

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‘Summer in Qatar’ program started from today the 4th of June and runs until 16th of August 2019.

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