Qatar is to launch on August 18 the much-awaited Wage Protection System (WPS) whereby all private sector workers will be paid salaries online through banking channels.
An extensive database of all workers as part of WPS is ready with the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, having been prepared in cooperation with Qatar Central Bank (QCB) and the Ministry of Interior.
Several banking and financial institutions are taking part in WPS being implemented by the labour ministry in coordination with QCB. The supervisory authority is the ministry, which has set up a separate inspection unit with inspectors to monitor WPS. Companies that fail to comply with WPS will be taken to task.
Companies (covered by the labour law, as private firms are) will have to make CSV files to save data in a table-structured format. The tables will carry workers’ names and payable salaries in serial numbers.
Companies will also be required to save CSV files in CDs or whatever other format they and their banks agree. All WPS beneficiary workers will have bank accounts, it is understood. A company will transfer salaries of its WPS-beneficiary workers to its bank which will check data and whether the firm has sufficient balance in its account. If not, the bank would get back to the company. Otherwise, the bank will credit online salaries of workers to their accounts and the workers will be notified of transfers.
It is not known if a company will have to use its existing bank or would need to open a separate account with a bank the labour ministry-QCB suggest. It is also not known if workers will have to chose banks to open WPS accounts or the labour ministry-QCB will assign them banks.
It is also not clear if exchange houses will be part of WPS but indications are they might be. After salary transfers, QCB will provide the ministry with details.
The WPS inspection unit will follow up and see which firms have not complied with the system.
As part of a promised labour reform, on February 18 Qatar issued a law mandating private firms to pay their workers’ wages on time through electronic transfer system. They were given six months to comply with the system and the deadline ends on August 17, hence WPS launch the following day.
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