Qatar ups minimum unskilled worker wage in preparation for 2022 World Cup

Published:  6 Nov at 6 PM
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Tagged: Visas, India
Qatar has passed a new minimum wage law aimed at expats as well as local employees.

It seems the emirate’s hosting of the 2022 FIFA World Cup may have positive effects on expats living and working in Qatar. A recent proclamation by the government announced not only the revocation of all expats’ exit visas but also a minimum wage law encompassing all workers. The two concessions are part of a broad reform of the labour market between now and the World Cup, with another relaxation due on the present restrictions regarding change of employer.

Whilst the new laws apply mainly to Qatar’s millions of unskilled and semi-skilled workers, the change could be seen as a loosening of restrictions boding well for expat professionals. Over the years, rights groups have heavily criticised Qatar for its unsatisfactory conditions of employment, with the recent announcement now seen as a push to improve its tarnished image prior to the hoped-for World Cup boost to its development and employment prospects.

An improvement in the minimum wage would undoubtedly boost the emirate’s world image, but no actual figures have yet been released. Those most affected would include construction site workers, street cleaners and domestic servants in private homes, the vast majority of whom arrive from the Philippines, India, Nepal and other Asian countries. Recently, Amnesty International publicly criticised Qatar’s treatment of low-skilled expat workers, focusing on unpaid wages and poor living conditions.
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