Qatar doesn’t favor workers from any specific nation; Senior Labor Official

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Refuting the unwarranted rumors currently circulating in various quarters, Mohamed Hassan Al Obaidly, the Assistant Undersecretary for Labor Affairs at Qatar’s Ministry of Administrative Development, Labor and Social Affairs (MADLSA) has reaffirmed that the country does not “impose on employers” to recruit workers of any particular nationality. 

The senior labor ministry official stated that country only seeks to attract skilled foreign workers and seeks to limit the absorption of the unskilled workforce as it begins to restart the recruitment of foreign labor.

Earlier this month, Qatar began allowed bringing expatriate workers into the country by “issuing labor approvals” for foreign recruitment.

“The current state policy aims to attract specialized skilled workers, and therefore it is the most important group targeted by this decision,” Mr. Al Obaidly said.

The senior labor ministry official added that “We aim to encourage recruitment of skilled hands and try to reduce the recruitment of unskilled workers as the contribution of the specialized and skilled workers will have a positive impact on national productivity and overall development of the private sector in the country.”

The Assistant Undersecretary reassured that the ministry does not inhibit or favor any nationality when comes to recruitment adding that the employer has the right to submit the application for any nationality while those applications will be as per the relative share of the nationality-based quotas.

Special consideration to SMEs 

Mr. Al Obaidly observed that the country will prioritize issuing work visas to small- and medium-sized companies, particularly to those who are committed to the labor laws and wage protection system.

The move is expected to benefit SMEs to recover from the negative impact of the pandemic on their businesses as well as employee attrition.

The Assistant Undersecretary remarked that firms who are set to lose workers with an intention to shit jobs will be immediately “compensated with a labor visa” or will be allowed to extend the worker’s notice period until a suitable alternative is found.

“The labour ministry is reviewing applications for labour recruitment approvals to assess the actual need. It also checks the compliance levels of the applicants with the labor laws, wage protection system and sees if the company is capable of providing adequate housing to the workers it is going to bring,” Al Obaidly stated.