Qatar's minimum wage for migrant workers takes effect

Doha, Mar 20 (IANS): A legislation setting a minimum wage for migrant workers came into effect in Qatar on Saturday, as part of major changes to the Gulf nation's labour market.

The Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs announced the implementation of the new minimum wage and said it applies to all workers and domestic workers from all nationalities, dpa news agency quoted the state media as saying.

Qatar set a monthly minimum wage of 1,000 Qatari riyals ($275), becoming the first country in the region to adopt a non-discriminatory minimum wage.

Under the legislation, employers must ensure that workers have decent accommodation and food, and also pay allowances of at least 300 and 500 riyals to cover costs of food and housing respectively, if they do not provide workers with these directly.

In August 2020, the Gulf country announced the new minimum wage and dismantled the "kafala", or sponsorship, employment system, allowing migrant workers to change jobs without permission from their current employer.

The new labour reforms come as Qatar is set to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Last month, UK newspaper The Guardian reported that more than 6,500 migrant workers from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have died in Qatar since the country won the right to host the tournament in 2010.

Qatar's government said at the time that the number of deaths, which it did not dispute, was proportionate to the size of the migrant workforce.


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