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Qatari labour laws reforms

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  • Categories
    World Affairs
  • Published
    3rd Sep, 2020
  • These reforms are now applicable to workers of all nationalities and in all sectors, including domestic workers who were previously excluded.
  • Abolition of the unjustified ‘kafala system’ or requirement for a “no objection certificate” that migrant workers needed to get from their employers before changing jobs.
    • Now, workers will have to serve a one-month notice period if they have worked for less than two years and notice period of two months if they have worked longer.
  • Increasing the minimum wage by 25 per cent to $274 or 1000 Qatari riyals and an additional 300 QAR for food and 500 QAR for accommodation in case not provided by the company.
  • The ‘kafala’ system is a system that lays down obligations in the treatment and protection of foreign ‘guests’. Kafala means ‘to guarantee’ or ‘to take care of’ in Arabic.
    • Under the system, a migrant worker’s immigration status is legally bound to an individual employer or sponsor (‘kafeel’) during the contract period.
    • The migrant worker cannot enter the country, transfer employment nor leave the country for any reason without first obtaining explicit written permission from the kafeel.
  • It is being practiced in the Gulf Cooperation Council member countries of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and also in the Arab states of Jordan and Lebanon.

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