Qatar's Cabinet has approved a number of draft laws that would give workers of all categories more rights and protection, including the possibility of switching jobs while the contract is still valid.
This was announced Wednesday by HE the Minister of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs Yousef bin Mohamed al-Othman al-Fakhro during the celebration of the Centenary of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), under the theme "the Future of Work in Qatar" at Katara - the Culture Village Foundation, Wednesday.
"The Cabinet has approved a draft law on the minimum wages, another to adopt regulations that facilitate the worker's transfer from his current employer to another within the duration of the work contract in a way that protects the rights of both parties, and a third draft law to abolish exit permits for those not covered by the Labour Law, including domestic workers. The draft laws will be applicable immediately after the relevant legislative process," he explained.
HE the Minister of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs Yousef bin Mohamed al-Othman al-Fakhro presents a memento to ILO's Moussa Oumarou as the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy secretary general HE Hassan al-Thawadi looks on. PICTURE: Ram Chand
The event under the patronage HE the Minister was attended by senior officials from the ILO, ambassadors and labour attaches of various countries, senior government officials, and representatives of Qatar Chamber, the private sector and expatriate communities.
HE al-Fakhro stressed the importance of the occasion citing the ongoing technical co-operation with the ILO and its office in Qatar in improving the work environment in the country.
Addressing the event, he talked about the various labour reforms that were introduced in the country as part of the technical support from the ILO office in Qatar. This includes amendments to the labour law and the expatriate residency law, abolishing exit permit for most workers, the Wage Protection System, the committees for resolving labour disputes, and a national fund for the support of workers' rights.
HE the Minister of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs Yousef bin Mohamed al-Othman al-Fakhro and other dignitaries at the event
HE the Minister stressed that Qatar has always been keen on launching policies and legislative amendments to create an ideal work environment.
He stressed that the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs (MADLSA) will continue its active and positive co-operation with the ILO Technical Office in Qatar to implement the work plans that have been mutually agreed upon.
Accordingly, HE al-Fakhro said that in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the creation of ILO, Qatar Central Bank (QCB) has issued three specially designed commemorative coins.
In the meantime, Moussa Oumarou, Deputy Director General for Field Operations and Partnerships, ILO, expressed his pleasure to mark the 100th anniversary of ILO in Qatar and thanked the country for its great efforts and achievements in introducing various remarkable reforms to improve the conditions of labour and work in many areas and respects.
He said:" We have an ILO team of dedicated professionals working closely with MADLSA colleagues here in Qatar, supporting the ambitious labour reforms that the country has embarked on. Every day, they facilitate dialogue between the government, employers and workers to ensure that the reforms that are being considered have everyone’s support. This is how industrial and social peace are achieved."
Oumarou pointed out that two weeks ago, for example, the ILO was part of a dialogue between MADLSA, Qatar Chamber, in cooperation with the International Organisation of Employers, on the role of business in migration governance and labour reforms.
"Last week, the ILO hosted a strategic dialogue between global union federations and MADLSA, in co-operation with the International Trade Union Confederation. Also with global union federations, the ILO participated in a town hall with different communities of migrant workers regarding the reforms," he added.
HE the Minister presented Oumarou with a memento comprising the special set of commemorative coins issued by the QCB.
The event also featured a documentary on Qatar's efforts in such fields, and a number of related panel discussions.