Workers excluded from labour protections
Since 2017, Qatar has engaged in a set of important reforms to abolish the kafala 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). In addition, domestic workers are now given a standard employment contract and receive pay slips from their employers.
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, the reforms established labour courts to resolve complaints regarding the non-payment of wages, and a Workers’ Support and Insurance Fund was created.
At workplace level, committees of workers have been elected to address workers’ complaints while joint committees were established at sectoral level (including hospitality, construction, security, and transport).
Finally, Qatar has established a dispute settlement system accessible to migrant workers.