The government yesterday assured that there is no going back on its promise to change the sponsorship and exit permit system for the benefit of foreign workers.
The term ‘sponsorship’ is being replaced in the new legislation and the new system will be based completely on the job contract of workers signed with their employers.
The rights and duties of the worker will be in the contract and the terms and conditions will be mutually agreed to between him and his employer.
Measures to introduce the new system are being taken and the new legislation is being finalised, said the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs.
There is absolutely no question of the sponsorship law not being changed, but right now a definite timeframe cannot be given, said H E Abdullah Saleh Mubarak Al Khulaifi. “Qatar has fulfilled all its legal obligations in the past and will do so in future as well.”
The law is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Interior, he said
Al Khulaifi was speaking at a function held by the Diplomatic Institute of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as part of an initiative of the Foreign Ministry to let heads of diplomatic missions in Doha meet senior Qatari officials and discuss labour and other issues.
The idea is to fight the propaganda of the western media against Qatar and their misleading reports about the labor situation in the country. Such meetings will perhaps continue to be held at regular intervals.
Al Khulaifi, meanwhile, said at the meeting that although full consensus was not there on the draft sponsorship law, Qatar will nevertheless go ahead and implement it because it is in the interest of the country, the workers and everyone else.
He said that last year some 200 private companies were banned in the country for breaching the provisions of the labour law. Additionally, at least 14 manpower agencies in Doha were blacklisted for violating recruitment rules.
And with help from the embassy of Nepal here some 55 manpower agencies in the Himalayan Kingdom were banned for violating recruitment rules, said Al Khulaifi.
He said in 2014 his ministry’s inspection department conducted 51,000 raids on companies to check their compliance with the labour law and 200 firms were banned.
His ministry received some 9,600 labour complaints last year of which a majority, 6,800 were resolved amicably and 800 were sent to the court though the public prosecution. “We are committed to improving the labour situation in the country since we are the host of the 2022 FIFA event,” the Minister said.