Workers excluded from labour protections
Since 2017, Qatar has engaged in a set of important reforms to abolish the kafala (sponsorship) system and extend labour protections to migrant workers in the country. In January 2020, Qatar adopted two ministerial decrees allowing employees to change employers at any time during their contract (by removing the No Objection Certificate) and to leave the country either temporarily or permanently without having to obtain the permission of their employers (by abolishing the exit visa requirement).
On 20 March 2021, Qatar’s non-discriminatory minimum wage came into force, applying to all workers, of all nationalities, in all sectors, including domestic workers. In addition to the minimum monthly basic wage of 1,000 Qatari riyals (US$275), the legislation stipulates that employers must pay allowances of at least 300 Qatari riyals and 500 Qatari riyals for food and housing, respectively, if they do not provide workers with these directly. More than 400,000 workers, that is, 20% of the private sector, will benefit directly through wage increases from the new law.