Qatar worker complaints fall since start of electronic wage payments

In this Sunday, May 3, 2015 photo taken during a government organized media tour, laborers head back to their housing at the end of their workday, in Doha, Qatar. (AP)

Complaints made by migrant workers in Qatar against their employers have fallen by 30 percent since the government banned cash-in-hand salary payments last year that rights groups say puts workers at risk.

Qatar’s ministry of labor said on Wednesday that an electronic payment scheme introduced last November was improving the situation and had made it easier for authorities to penalize employers not paying workers in full and on time.

Around 85 percent of Qatar’s 2.1 million workers are now paid by bank transfer, the ministry statement said.

The government recorded 385 violations by companies for not paying workers on time during the past 12 months.

It said the punishments involve fines of up to 6,000 Qatari Riyals ($1,650) for every worker who did not receive a salary and up to one month in jail, but it was unclear whether any bosses had been imprisoned.

The government received 2,676 worker complaints in the first half of 2016 compared to 3,845 for the same period in 2015, representing a 30.4 percent decrease, the statement added.

Labor Minister Issa al-Nuaimi said in the statement that while challenges remained, the electronic wage system had ensured “greater protections for workers.”

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:50 - GMT 06:50