Qatar announced plans to abolish controversial labor regulations, including some workers requiring the employer’s permission to change jobs and leave Qatar.
Since being selected to host of 2022 World Cup, Qatar has implemented a series of labor regulation reforms, especially in the field of foreign labor recruitment.
Last year, the exit visa was eliminated for the majority of workers, but the authorities are now extending that to the remainder.
“Cabinet has adopted new legislation related to a new law for minimum wage and also a new regulation to facilitate labour transfer to a new employer… and a draft law to abolish exit permits,” Labour Minister Yousuf Mohamed al-Othman Fakhroo said at an event in Doha.
Labour Minister Yousuf Mohamed al-Othman Fakhroo
Othman did not state what the minimum wage will be, but the government had set it provisionally at 750 riyals (USD 206) per month.
Some two million foreign workers work in Qatar, many employed directly or indirectly on vast World Cup infrastructure projects.
It is expected that these proposals will be drafted officially within about a month and will be enacted into law by the end of this year.
According to official figures, of the 2.7 million people living in Qatar, only 333,000 are citizens of the country.
The ILO appreciated Qatar’s latest reforms and believed that countries with similar systems would follow Doha.
An estimated 2 million foreign workers are working in Qatar, the majority of them directly or indirectly involved in infrastructure projects preparing for the 2022 World Cup.
In February, the gas-rich Gulf state said it was committed to labor reforms, following an Amnesty International report that the 2022 World Cup host was failing to stop widespread abuse of workers.
Doha said it was on course to deliver “lasting” change after the human rights group said it was “running out of time” to implement the reforms before the World Cup.