Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Qatar to implement e-contract system for foreign workers

Starting March 2016, Qatar will implement an electronic contract system for migrant laborers working to ensure transparency and lessen cases of contract substitution, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

“This will be the first of its kind in Qatar,” the DFA quoted Mohamed Ali Al Meer, a senior official at Qatar's Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, as saying in a news release on Tuesday.

Citing information from the Philippine Embassy in Doha, the DFA said under the new system, laborers will be able to access a government website where, by entering personal details such as their name, ID or visa number, they will be able to view their work contract.

The DFA said this would enable workers to see what they have signed up for in Qatar for the first time in their own language since the service will be initially offered in 10 languages.

Although the scheme will not be compulsory, Meer said that he expects many companies to sign up.

Officials said that the electronic contract system is part of an overall reform package that includes the introduction of a wage protection system (WPS) in November and changes to the “kafala” system, or the system used to monitor migrant laborers, working mostly in the construction and domestic sectors, in Lebanon, Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE.

“The implementation of electronic contracts for migrant workers is a positive step towards lessening cases of contract substitution as this will ensure transparency,” said Philippine Ambassador to Qatar Wilfredo C. Santos. —KBK, GMA News 

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