At Last...Date Set for Qatar Migrant Law
World Economy

At Last...Date Set for Qatar Migrant Law

A law guaranteeing that Qatar’s migrant workers get paid on time will come into force in November, legal and media sources claimed Tuesday, amid major confusion over its start date.
The Wage Protection System–trumpeted by the government as a “significant” reform–had been widely expected to enter into force on August 18 after a six-month grace period for businesses to prepare for the new regulations, Middle East online reported.
But its actual start date will now be more than two months later on November 2, local daily The Peninsula reported.
It said that Qatar, which is set to host football’s World Cup in 2022, had decided to postpone the launch as some in the private sector were not yet ready. The WPS is expected to have an impact on more than 50,000 companies, The Peninsula said.
Another Qatari paper, the Arabic-language Al Sharq, also reported the November 2 start date, adding that the banking sector has completed preparations for the scheme.
Under the new system, workers will be paid either twice a month or monthly, with wages electronically transferred to their bank accounts.
Companies which do not pay salaries on time under the new regulations face fines of up to 6,000 Qatari riyals ($1,650), a ban on recruiting new staff and bosses could potentially be jailed.
Michael T Palmer, a lawyer representing international firms in Qatar, said that labor ministry officials had informed those in the private sector earlier this week. “The implementation date has been verbally confirmed as November 2,” he said.
This may not necessarily mean a delay from August 18, but may merely highlight confusion over the country’s legislative process.
The August 18 date corresponds to exactly six months after the legislation was signed off by the emir.


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