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Posted On: 3 September 2015 03:34 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:15 pm

Qatar to enforce Wage Protection System from November

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Football World Cup 2022 host Qatar will begin enforcing a law that ensures workers get paid on time from early November, labour ministry officials said on Wednesday.

The Wage Protection System (WPS) has been delayed from an initial start date of August 18 to allow companies more time to prepare for the change.

It is one of a number of measures that Qatar is expected to introduce in an attempt to improve labour conditions following criticism by rights campaigners of the treatment of migrant workers.

"We will start applying the law on November 3rd," labour ministry official Saleh al-Shawi said at a press conference on Wednesday.

Under the WPS, workers 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.

Shawi said that all banks within Qatar will participate in the WPS and inspection teams will be used to watch out for any company breaking the rules.

Any violations could potentially mean imprisonment for bosses, and there are fines of up to QR6,000, said al-Shawi.

Companies which do not comply could also be punished by being banned from recruiting new staff.

Inspection teams, overseen by the labour ministry, will monitor the new system and identify any firms not complying with the regulations.

"We are ready," al-Shawi added.

The WPS has been touted by the government as proof of its commitment to reform, in response to criticism of Qatar's labour practices since the decision to allow it to host football's biggest tournament.

Ministers predict that changes to the "kafala" sponsorship system will be announced later this year.

However, Wednesday's announcement failed to pacify Qatar's critics, who urged Doha to do more on labour reform.