Companies and individuals violating the law banning labour accommodations in residential areas can face fines ranging from QR10,000 to QR50,000.
This was disclosed by a legal expert at the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning during a training programme for municipal inspectors held as part of preparations to implement
The Ministry has set a November 1 deadline for relocating labour accommodations from residential areas across the country. The ban in the first phase applies to labourers of contracting and construction companies, while people working with neighbourhood stores have been exempted. Inspectors with judicial powers have been assigned in all municipalities to monitor implementation of the law. They can sue violators who could eventually face fines of up to QR50,000. The minimum fine for violating the law is QR10,000, said Dr Zaid Mustafa.
The fine can be doubled in the event of a repetition of the violation. The Ministry has the right to forcefully evacuate a labour accommodation that is found to be violating the law, if such a move becomes necessary.
If a violation is detected, those involved will be issued a written warning to vacate the building in 30 days. After the expiry of this period, they will be given 15 days to lodge a complaint, if any, with the Ministry against the decision.
If no action is taken on the complaint in 30 days, it would mean that it has been rejected and the authorities can go ahead with the evacuation plan.
The Ministry has the right to settle a violation through reconciliation as long as a court verdict is not issued against the violators.
Meanwhile, several members of the Central Municipal Council (CMC) have expressed their reservation over exempting a major segment of single workers from the purview of the law.
Talking to a local Arabic daily, they said there was ambiguity on this issue which needed to be clarified. In the absence of a clear definition, employers might manipulate the provisions of the law.
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