Amendments To Labor Regulations
The Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs ("ADLSA”) announced on Sunday 30 August 2020 the introduction of major employee-sided amendments to the currently applicable labour and residency regulations including amendments to the Labour Law No. (14) of 2004 as well as amending the Residency Law No. (21) of 2015. The new regulations included setting a minimum wage requirement and abolishing the Non- Objection Certificate ("NOC”) to ease the movement of private sector’s employees between employers and create higher competitiveness within the market.
INTRODUCTION OF A MINIMUM WAGE LAW
According to ADLSA, the Law No. (17) of 2020 ("Minimum Wage Law”) received His Highness Shaikh. Tamim Bin Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani’s Emiri assent ("Emiri Assent”) on 30 August 2020 and is expected to be published in the next edition of the official gazette.
The Minimum Wage Law applies to all private sector employees and house-workers. It sets a minimum wage of QAR 1000 (One Thousand) per month as a basic salary. The Minimum Wage Law also obliges the employer to provide the employee with the following minimum allowances:
- QAR 500 (Five Hundred) per month for accommodation expenses, and
- QAR 300 (Three Hundred) per month as a food allowance. Pending the full release of the Minimum Wage Law in the official gazette, it is expected that the Minimum Wage Law will come into force after six months from its publication in the official gazette. This grace period is provided to give employers some time to amend the employment contracts of employees who do not earn the minimum said salary and allowances to comply with the new regulation.
ABOLISHING THE NOC REQUIREMENT
According to the press release announced by ADLSA, the Law No. (19) of 2020 regarding the Abolishing of NOC ("NOC Law”) also received Emiri Assent on 30 August 2020 to put an end to the NOC system as one of the most debatable requirements that was hindering the free movement of employees within the employment market. The full details of the NOC Law is yet to be published in the official gazette. As soon as the full information on the NOC Law is published, Mohamad Al Mohanadi Law Firm will release a full detailed update to its clients.
WAGE PROTECTION SYSTEM ("WPS”)
ADLSA also announced that new amendment is introduced to the Labour Law No. (14) of 2004 to raise penalties for employers who do not fully comply with the WPS statutory requirements.