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Posted On: 9 October 2018 09:28 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:19 pm

Qatar exit visa reform to come into force by end of October

Khadiza Begum
Khadiza Begum
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Qatar's decision to abolish its exit permit system will come into force by the end of October, a leading global trade union official said on Monday.

Sharan Burrow, head of the International Trade Union Confederation was speaking in Doha after meeting Qatar's Prime Minister and Labour Minister.

"We've seen significant progress, first of all we have seen the end of the exit visa law and that will be now implemented by the end of October," she said.

"Everybody's aware that this is a big shift and that it will actually take a period of time but formally it will be implemented by the end of the month."

Qatar announced in September it had approved legislation to scrap the exit system, which requires all foreign workers to obtain their employers' permission to leave the country.

Until now, no date had been given for when it would come into force. Under the landmark labour law, only a maximum five percent of each company's workforce -- thought to be those in the most senior positions -- will still need permission to leave Qatar.

There are some two million foreign workers in Qatar. Other changes include the introduction of a minimum monthly wage, set at 750 Qatari riyals ($205, 180 euros), plus accommodation. Burrow added that research was underway on whether that amount should be increased.

It is worth noting that scrapping the exit permit is the biggest announcement made so far since Qatar agreed last November to enter into a three-year agreement with the UN's International Labour Organization to oversee reform.