New contract-based system will help reduce workers’ complaints: Official

There will be a drastic reduction in the number of complaints from workers once the new contract-based system replaces the Kafala and the exit permit system, according to Lt. Col. Saad al Dosari, Assistant Director of Human Rights Department, Ministry of Interior.

“The department has successfully resolved a large number of workers’ disputes in the last two years (2014 and 2015). A total of 2,635 visas (sponsorship) of workers have been transferred from their previous employers to new ones in the past two years. The department has received over 10,000 complaints in the past 10 years,” Dosari told Qatar Tribune on the sidelines of the ‘Labour Rights Protection’ seminar on Sunday.

He said,”Strict implementation of the new contract system by imposing hefty fines on the violators will play a vital role in bringing down the number of complaints. However, any comparison can only be made after two years from the date of implementation since there is a lock-in period of two years before a worker can change employer.”

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Issa Mohamed al Ishaq, Head of HR, Qatar Red Crescent, said:”The new system binds the employer and the employee with a contractual relation for two years giving equal leeway to each party so that once the contract period is over they can re-negotiate their terms and can continue further through mutual consent. Otherwise they can part ways.”

“The new system will ensure that both sides are responsible towards the commitments made in the contract and will definitely put the employee and the employer on a more equal footing. There may be a bit of resistance by the employers in the beginning, but I believe after its implementation for two years people will realise that the rights of both sides are well protected,” said Ishaq.