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Thu 3 Sep 2015 12:32 PM

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Qatar to enforce new labour law from November

Rules on wage payments were initially set to take effect on August 18

Qatar to enforce new labour law from November
(Image for illustrative purpose only - Getty Images)

Officials from Qatar’s labour ministry have confirmed that new laws on payment of workers’ wages will come into force from November 3.

The compulsory online Wage Protection System (WPS) is intended to ensure that labourers in particular get paid on time, following criticism of their treatment by human rights campaigners.

Under the WPS, “low-income” workers in the private sector will be paid either twice a month or monthly, with wages electronically transferred to their bank accounts.

Banks will be compelled to open accounts for workers and transfer the wages once they have been paid by companies.

The new rules were intended to take effect on August 18. But, as reported by Arabian Business last month, implementation was delayed until November as the government had argued that the timeframe was too short for companies to prepare for the change.

According to Gulf Times, labour ministry official Saleh Al Shawi told a press conference on Wednesday: “We will start applying the law on November 3.”

Shawi said that all banks within Qatar will participate and inspection teams from the Labour ministry will work to identify any companies breaking the rules.

There will be strict penalties for violations, ranging from fines of up to QR6,000 ($1,648), to imprisonment for bosses. Companies could also be banned from recruiting any new staff.