Qatar’s labour reforms earn international praise

The International Trade Union Confederation – Asia Pacific (ITUC-AP) gave praise to the government of Qatar for its labour reforms. These changes were implemented in order to provide better protection and a safer environment for migrant workers in Qatar.

In particular, in March 2021, a law was enforced that dictates the minimum wage for workers. The State of Qatar imposed these amendments in order to keep expatriate workers safe, especially as workers need to be protected after the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. The commendation was carried out during a three-day mission by the ITUC-Asia Pacific from March 9th to 11th, where gaps were addressed when it comes to labour rights, improvement of living conditions, and the betterment of the living situation of migrant workers in the country.

Trade union migration experts came from the Philippines, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, and Nepal. Qatar’s representatives from the Ministry of Labour and the Ministry of Interior cooperated with them, as well as with global union community liaison officers.

Along with the praises raised were the heat stress legislation and inspection campaigns. The former states that workers can only work during limited times under the heat – it also states that there must be measures put in place in order to protect employees from heat stress in the summertime.

As for the inspection campaigns, these are being carried out by the Ministry of Labour, which dutifully shuts down businesses that do not comply with specific rules. These measures were also commended during the mission.

Furthermore, the standard contract for domestic workers has been revised to accommodate improvements when it comes to termination, overtime pay, employment conditions, and more. Recruitment systems have also improved, with various Qatar Visa Centers set up as well as a ban on recruitment fees that are being charged to employees.

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