Qatar revealed changes to its labor laws on Sunday. The country raised its minimum wages to 1,000 riyals ($274.6) a month, which is a 25 percent increase. It has also scrapped the requirement of employees to seek permission from their employers in order to change jobs.
The move is a part of a series of labor reforms introduced by the host of the 2022 FIFA World Cup after the country faced accusations of exploitation of migrant workers in the lead up to the tournament.
Changes Apply to All Workers
The new minimum wage is non-discriminatory and applies to all workers, the labor ministry said in a statement. Companies must also provide workers with accommodation and food or an additional combined monthly stipend of 800 riyals, it said.
The United Nations' labor agency welcomed the changes. The International Labour Organization (ILO) said Qatar was to become the first country in the region to adopt a non-discriminatory minimum wage.
Removal of Requirement of a No Objection Certificate
It also said, in addition to other reforms, removing the need for employees to obtain a No Objection Certificate from their employers to change jobs "effectively dismantles" the "kafala" system. The "kafala" sponsorship system is common in Gulf states, where visas for foreign workers are tied to their employer.
Qatar last December scrapped restrictions on leaving the country for hundreds of thousands of domestic workers left out of earlier reforms. The changes announced on Sunday will come into effect in six months, the labor ministry said.
(With inputs from agencies)