Qatar said to bring in new kafala laws on December 13

New legislation should make it easier for some expats to leave the country or change jobs
A demonstrator holds a placard critical of Qatars policies regarding the working conditions of migrant workers. (AFP/Getty Images - for illustrative purposes only)
By Staff writer
Thu 04 Aug 2016 01:46 PM

Qatar will reportedly bring in its long-awaited new kafala sponsorship laws in December.

According to Arabic daily Al Sharq, the new law, which should make it easier for some expats to leave the country or change jobs, will come into force on December 13.

No official announcement has been made but government officials suggested earlier this year that it would take effect by the end of 2016

One of the key changes in the new law, approved by the Emir in October, is that expats will apply to the government rather than their sponsor for an exit permit, making it easier for some to leave the country or change jobs.

Sponsors will be able to object to an individual leaving the country, while applicants can appeal a decision to refuse an exit permit.

Also, expats who finish fixed contracts will need the permission of the government to take up another job, rather than consent from their sponsor.

Qatari officials argue that the changes will help protect the rights of foreign workers.

However, in a report earlier this year, the International Labour Organization said “[The new sponsorship law] still places restrictions on the possibility of workers to leave the country or to change employers and would prevent workers who might be victims of abusive practices from freeing themselves from these situations.”

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