DoLE cites new minimum wage law in Qatar

Published September 27, 2020, 3:53 PM

by Leslie Ann Aquino

The Department of Labor and Employment on Sunday said Qatar’s new “non-discriminatory minimum wage” is beneficial to overseas Filipino workers.

In a statement, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the new non-discriminatory minimum wage of Qatar, the first Arab state to introduce a significant labor policy reform, covers all its migrant workers.

He said the government of Qatar adopted early last month Law No. 17 Series of 2020 setting the minimum wage for all workers of all nationalities in the private sector at 1,000 Qatari riyals equivalent to $274 or P13,325 in basic wage.

In addition to the minimum basic wage, Bello said, employers are directed to ensure that workers are provided adequate food and accommodation, or allocation of additional 500 QR for accommodation and 200 QR for food, bringing the minimum total gross salary to 1,800 QR equivalent to $494 or P24,000.

The Labor chief said based on the report of the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Qatar, the law also establishes a Minimum Wage Committee that will review the impact and application of the minimum wage, in consultation with different bodies, experts, workers, and employers.

Bello said the report also added that the government of Qatar, through the Ministry of Administrative Development Labor and Social Affairs (MADLSA), will be working with employers to “update all employment contracts where workers are earning less than the amount established by the new law.”

He, however, stressed that OFWs who are already enjoying higher salaries and benefits need not worry as MADLSA gave an assurance that they will not be affected by the new law.

Bello added that there are amendments to the labor law prescribing stricter penalties for employers who “fail to pay their workers’ wages and provide adequate accommodations, prescribed by MADLSA.”

According to DoLE, the new minimum wage law will come into force after six months from its publication in Qatar’s Official Gazette on Sept. 9, 2020. 

Earlier, Qatar abolished the ”kafala,” an employment system that requires all migrant workers to secure the permission of employers before they can seek another employment.