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Thu 4 Aug 2016 01:46 PM

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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

Qatar said to bring in new kafala laws on December 13
A demonstrator holds a placard critical of Qatars policies regarding the working conditions of migrant workers. (AFP/Getty Images - for illustrative purposes only)

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.”

Mile 3 years ago

It really doesnt change anything...waste of time.

mohammed 3 years ago

The Qatar authorities are just playing around to appease groups such as Amnesty International, the bottom line is expat workers will not be free to move around Qatar in terms of jobs and they will be restricted in the exit process.
More of the same!!!!!

jeff makkis 3 years ago

Still too many loopholes that sponsors can play around with. Make it simple like Bahrain has done.

khalid 3 years ago

waste of time. not fooling anyone.
have the courage to keep what you are doing (same old slavery format) or change to a proper way. (employees have the right to change jobs and leave the country as they wish)
p.s employees bear some blame for accepting such practices done to them!

Telcoguy 3 years ago

the funny thing is that it is Qatar's economy that would benefit more of opening to more competition, including for labor.
But as we have discussed many times here, the short term losses to certain specific people will prevent that from happening until the current oil-supported, oil-subsidized economy can no longer be sustained

It is always the same story everywhere, and every single time there is people thinking it is different.