DOHA: A law that sets a minimum wage for workers in Qatar will come into force on 20 March, 2021, that is six months after its publication in the Official Gazette.
The Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs (MADLSA) also announced that a new form will be adopted for providing salary information under the Wage Protection System.
MADLSA had made a landmark announcement on 30 August, 2020 that the country would implement a basic monthly minimum wage of 1,000 riyals for every worker.
In addition to the minimum wage, the ministry had also announced the provision of QR500 for accommodation and QR300 for food if those expenses are not provided as part of the contract.
If food and accommodation are not provided, a worker will receive no less than QR1,800 per month in total, according to the new law.
The Ministry has also implemented a new form for salary transfer, with a file that includes additional boxes with information about how the wages are calculated, including food allowance and housing allowance.
The new form is scheduled to be issued from April.
The Ministry also warned that the employer may not use the new law as a justification for reducing the worker’s salary and to provide less favourable terms than those stipulated in the current contract.
It is not mandatory for the employer and the worker to sign a new work contract under the new law, but it is good for the employer to inform the worker in writing of any changes in his wage following the application of the new law, the Ministry said.
Also, it is not necessary to authenticate employment contracts whenever the terms and conditions of work are amended, as this will constitute an unnecessary financial and administrative burden on the employers, and electronic approval of contracts is required when new workers are recruited, and workers’ contracts are renewed even if the terms and conditions have not changed.
The minimum wage applies to all workers regardless of their nationality and sector.
It also applies to sectors not covered by the labour law, including domestic workers.
Labour inspectors will monitor wage payment practices and ensure that housing standards meet minimum legal requirements.
The penalty for non-compliance is a fine of up to QR10,000 for every worker or imprisonment for a maximum of one month. Companies will also be prevented from obtaining government contracts until they pay the workers their owed wages.
There are also standards for food. The worker must receive three meals a day that are appropriate to his culture, nutritious and meet the required calories.