“These initiatives have the support of the ITUC, and we hope that implementation will be also supported by the ILO ( International Labour Organisation, red.) with its technical expertise.
Much remains to be done, but these steps open the way for workers to be treated with dignity and for their lives and livelihoods to be protected,” she added.
The new guidance and commitments made by the Government dismantle the system of kafala, which has trapped millions of migrant workers in Qatar.
The six steps include:
• Employment contracts will be lodged with a government authority to prevent contract substitution, ending the practice of workers arriving in the country only to have their contract torn up and replaced with a different job, often on a lower wage.
• Employers will no longer be able to stop their employees from leaving the country.
• A minimum wage will be prescribed as a base rate covering all workers, ending the race-based system of wages.
• Identification papers will be issued directly by the State of Qatar, and workers will no longer rely on their employer to provide their ID card without which workers can be denied medical treatment.
• Workers’ committees will be established in each workplace, with workers electing their own representatives.
• A special disputes resolution committee with a timeframe for dealing with grievances will be a centerpiece for ensuring rapid remedy of complaints.
International trade union organisations consistently called for Qatar to end modern slavery and make the 2022 FIFA World Cup a world cup with rights for all workers. It has called on the government to abolish the system of exit permits, to put in place a minimum wage to end the race-based wage differences, to allow workers representation, to eliminate contract substitution and to put in place a grievance procedure to settle disputes.
These conditions have been met, and we congratulate the Emir and Qatar’s Labour Minister for their commitment to modernise their industrial relations system,” said Sharan Burrow.
CNV is afiliated to the ITUC, that represents 181 million workers in 163 countries and territories and has 340 national affiliates.
Publication date 01 11 2017