Posted on August 18, 2015

Qatar has postponed the launch of the mandatory online wage payment system for low-income private sector workers to November 2, said The Peninsula. Called the Wage Protection System (WPS), it was scheduled to be launched from today as the six-month period allowed to private companies on February 18 vide a law ended yesterday. However, the government decided yesterday to put off the launch to November 2 as some companies were not ready yet to be part of the WPS. So they have been allowed more time to comply.

More than 50,000 private companies are to be part of the WPS whereby all of their workers are to be mandatorily paid their wages through banking channels. Banking industry sources told Al Sharq that the banks had already completed the preparations, both administrative and technical, to be part of the WPS. “We have all the necessary technical abilities as well the equipment and manpower in place to deal with the online workers’ salary payment system under the WPS,” a banking industry source told the daily. 

Qatar Airways HQ 300x250

Banks have been asked by the regulator, Qatar Central Bank (QCB), to open salary accounts for all the workers who are to be beneficiaries of the WPS. Banks must open the accounts for workers regardless of the amount of their salaries. “No bank has the right to reject the request of a worker to open a bank account for salary transfer,” a source said, quoting the QCB directive to the banking industry. Rejection of a bank account opening request by any worker would make a bank liable to punishment under Article 216 of the QCB Law. 

Banks flouting this rule are also liable to be fined. The QCB has also asked banks to allow WPS-beneficiary workers to withdraw their salaries from their accounts at least five times a month free of charge. Service charges can be levied only after five withdrawals have been made by a worker from his bank account in a month. All companies covered by the labour law (as all private firms are) will need to make CSV files to save data in table structured format to be part of WPS.

The tables will carry workers’ names and salaries payable to them in serial numbers. The CSV files will need to be saved in CDs as well or whatever format a company’s bank agrees to.