Posted on November 03, 2018

Qatar is working on overhauling its labour system to ensure that all employees in the country are protected by the best possible employment laws and regulations, the country’s Media Attaché for the UK HE Sheikh Thamer bin Hamad al Thani said on Friday. Qatar is not ambivalent to the plight of its expatriate workers, he added.

In a statement to The Guardian, referring to an article published in the paper on October 29 by Pete Pattisson, Sheikh Thamer said it failed to acknowledge the progress Qatar has made in reforming its labour system and attempted to portray the country as ambivalent to the plight of its migrant workforce. Such claims were “simply untrue”, he added.

Qatar's Media Attaché then presented some number's to reflect the work being made to address labour issues “To put this into figures, in the first half of 2018 Qatar carried out over 19,000 labour inspections, banned almost 12,000 companies due to not addressing the laws, and added almost 230,000 electronic contracts to prevent against contract substitution,” he said in the statement. “In addition, Qatar is working with the International Labour Organisation and countries of origin to eliminate employment fees at source. In the coming months, Qatar will open 20 visa processing centres in eight countries as part of these efforts.”

October also saw the removal of exit permits for the majority of overseas workers, Sheikh Thamer said, hailing it as another major step in the reform process. He, however, maintained that the country needs to be vigilant in enforcing the new laws. “Where violations of the law occur, workers are encouraged to report these and have multiple mechanisms to do so. This is why we viewed the claims made in the article with such concern and Qatar’s Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs has announced an investigation into these claims,” he said.