Qatar Achieves Major Milestone In Labour Reforms, Announces Minimum Wage, Changing Jobs Facility

Official Logo Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour & Social Affairs

Doha, 30 August 2020 (QNA)

National News Agency of State of Qatar, QNA has released announcement from Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs (ADLSA) as follows :

In furtherance of Qatar’s efforts to protect the interests of employers and employees alike, the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs (ADLSA) on  Sunday (Today) has taken a major step forward in its labour reform program, introducing a non-discriminatory minimum wage and removing the No-Objection Certificate requirement to change jobs for employees.

According to, Law No. 17 of 2020 on Setting the Minimum Wage for Workers and Domestic Workers sets the minimum wage for all private sector workers, including domestic workers, at QAR 1,000 per month as a basic wage, as well as QAR 500 per month allocated by the employer for accommodation expenses and QAR 300 per month for food, unless the employer already provides adequate food or accommodation for the employee or domestic worker.

ADLSA will be working with employers to update all employment contracts where workers earn less than the amount established by the new Law, which will come into force after 6 months of its publication in the official gazette.

The minimum wage was decided following extensive consultations with a specialized national committee composed of relevant authorities in Qatar to consider the matter. The law is the first of its kind in the Middle East and will provide additional stability to Qatar’s labour market.

In light of the above, a Minimum Wage Committee will be formed and tasked with frequently studying and reviewing the minimum wage of workers and domestic workers.

The government also introduced Decree Law No. 18 of 2020 amending some provisions of Labour Law No. 14 of 2004 and Decree Law No. 19 of 2020 amending some provisions of 2004 Law No. 21 of 2015 regulating the entry and exit of expatriates and their residence, which protects the rights of both employers and employees and facilitates the employer change process. This will drive greater competition in Qatar’s labour market by allowing employees to change employers and allowing employers to attract the best talent on the local market.

The statement says that as part of our efforts to boost the effectiveness of the Wage Protection System, the new amendments to the Labour Law prescribe stricter penalties for employers who fail to pay their workers’ wages and introduce penalties for employers who fail to provide adequate accommodation for their workers, in line with the standards established by the Ministry.

The new amendments also include increasing the number of labour dispute resolution committees in an effort to tackle the number of labour disputes, facilitate workers’ access to the rights, and expedite legal proceedings.

Yousuf Mohamed Al Othman Fakhroo, Minister of Administrative Development, Labour & Social Affairs, said: “The State of Qatar is committed to creating a modern and dynamic labour market. In line with Qatar Vision 2030, these new laws mark a major milestone in this journey and will benefit workers, employers, and the nation alike.”

Attracting the desired combination of migrant workers, protecting their rights, and ensuring their safety is part of the human development goals of Qatar’s 2030 National Vision. With today’s announcement, Qatar delivers on its promise to expand the labour market in a manner that drives competition, boosts investment in the local economy, and drives economic growth in Qatar.

To ensure compliance with the changes, ADLSA is working with competent authorities to upgrade the Wage Protection System, strengthen the capacity of inspectors, and apply stricter penalties to companies that violate the law.

Syed Ahsan Raza Shah, ambassador of Pakistan to State of Qatar has  congratulated the State of Qatar on the promulgation of the historic new non-discriminatory Labour Laws. “The new rules are in line with the commitment of the State of Qatar towards providing a conducive, healthy and productive environment coupled with greater freedom and protection for expatriate workers” he stated.

He said that the Pakistani workforce has proudly contributed to the exemplary progress and prosperity of the State of Qatar, which is their second home, over the last 5 decades and would continue to do so in the future years.

Shah stressed on members of the Pakistani workforce to follow and obey the laws of the land in letter and spirit; whilst availing of the opportunities afforded by the new rules.

On this occasion, Dr Narad Nath Bharadwaj, ambassador of Nepal to Qatar has expressed his gratitude to Amir of State of Qatar for taking historic step to enhance the dignity of labor.

He said that the decision of the Government of State of Qatar to raise the minimum wages for workers is a forward looking initiative which has addressed a long standing grievance persisting in the workers’ community. Similarly,the abolition of the requirement for workers to obtain NOC from their employers to change employment has reiterated the workers’ freedom to choose job, he added.

Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim bin Mohammed Al-Thani, Chairman, Qatar Chamber of Commerce & Industry has said that setting the minimum wage and facilitating changing employers are important additions to the labor market reforms that the State of Qatar initiated many years ago through its enhancing of labor laws and the protection of expatriate workers.

In a statement to Qatar News Agency (QNA), He affirmed that these decisions will greatly contribute to enhancing the competitiveness of the Qatari economy regionally and globally, as well as enhancing competition and productivity in the local labor market, thus providing the opportunity for private sector companies to contract with skilled and trained workers, which will contribute to diversifying the economy.

He indicated that the implementation of a minimum wage in the State of Qatar, which includes domestic workers, is a unique decision that will achieve a balance between the interests of workers and employers at the same time, and contribute to strengthening the stability of the local labor market.

He noted that facilitating the transition between different employers will provide an opportunity to rotate expatriate workers in the local market to meet the needs of companies for employment, which have acquired new experiences and skills.

Chairman, Chamber of Commerce of Qatar explained that the reforms of the Qatari labor market are in line with the objectives of the Qatar National Vision 2030, especially concerning attracting the required expatriate workers and taking care of their rights and enhancing opportunities for economic growth, noting that facilitating the transfer between different work agencies also contributes to reducing recruitment costs for private sector companies, and supports its plans to diversify its activities and expand into various economic sectors.

/ Economy

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Editor and publisher Ashraf Siddiqui is a well known Qatar based journalist and a social worker. He has been in Arabian Gulf Peninsula over 4 decades and enjoys rich knowledge on Middle East affairs

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