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Wed 22 Jun 2016 12:03 PM

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1.5m workers benefiting from wage protection system, says Qatar minister

WPS aims to ensure low-income workers receive wages in full and on time

1.5m workers benefiting from wage protection system, says Qatar minister
(Marwan Naamani/AFP/Getty Images)

The majority of low-income workers in Qatar have been brought under the country’s new Wage Protection System (WPS), which requires them to be paid at least monthly by direct bank transfer, a government minister has reportedly said.

Dr Issa bin Saad Al Jafali Al Nuaimi, minister of administrative development, labour and social affairs, said on Tuesday that around 1.5 million workers out of an estimated total 1.7 million in Qatar have been covered under the WPS to date.

The new system came into force in November and requires companies to transfer salaries electronically to employees’ bank accounts.

It aims to ensure that all workers receive their salaries on time, in Qatari rials and that no illegal deductions are made. The rules apply to more than 50,000 private companies.

Al Nuaimi made the announcement at a meeting between the Qatar Chamber and representatives of private sector companies on Monday, according to Gulf Times.

He also said the ministry is working on a new system to speed up issuance of work visas for companies, following complaints the current process is too lengthy.

Representatives called on Al Nuaimi to establish a “labour court” to handle employment issues and disputes between employers and staff.

And Qatar’s new labour law – under which the traditional kafala sponsorship system is set to be abolished – should take effect “later this year”, Al Nuaimi reportedly said.

“Qatar is keen on developing legislative and legal infrastructure in line with the conventions and treaties signed by Qatar, and to achieve ease of doing business,” he was quoted as saying.

“The leadership of this country places great importance on the implementation of all security and safety standards for foreign workers.”

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