’History made today’: Two historic announcements; ILO lauds Qatar’s latest labour reforms

  • 6 months   ago
’History made today’: Two historic announcements; ILO lauds Qatar’s latest labour reforms

International Labour Organization has welcomed the “historic move” by the State of Qatar ending the requirement for migrant workers to obtain their employer’s permission to change jobs, while also becoming the first country in the region to adopt a “non-discriminatory minimum wage”.

Qatar has announced today that as per Law No. 17 of 2020 all private sector workers, including domestic workers, should be paid QR 1,000 per month as a basic wage, as well as QR 500 per month allocated by the employer for accommodation expenses and QR 300 per month for food, unless the employer already provides adequate food or accommodation for the employee or domestic worker. The law will enter into force six months after the law’s publication in the Official Gazette

“By introducing these significant changes, Qatar has delivered on a commitment. One that will give workers more freedom and protection, and employers more choice,” said Guy Ryder, the ILO Director-General. “We are witnessing what can be achieved when governments, workers and employers work together with the ILO to promote decent work for all.”

The new minimum wage will apply to all workers, of all nationalities and in all sectors, including domestic workers.


Following the adoption on 30 August 2020 of Law No. 18 of 2020, migrant workers can now change jobs before the end of their contract without first having to obtain a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from their employer.

Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) said, “This is very good news for migrant workers in Qatar. The leadership shown by Qatar in dismantling the kafala system and introducing a minimum wage is long-awaited news for all workers. The ITUC stands ready to support the Government of Qatar in the implementation of this historic move, to ensure all workers are aware of the new rules and benefit from them. Other countries in the region should follow Qatar’s example.”

Roberto Suárez Santos Secretary-General of the International Organisation of Employers (IOE) said, “These reforms will make a major contribution to the efficiency and productivity of the Qatar labour market. IOE stands ready to support the Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Government in supporting employers during this transition. Our congratulations to Qatar and its Chamber of Commerce!”

“The ILO has worked closely with Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour & Social Affairs and with employers’ and workers’ organizations to support the adoption and enhancement of laws, policies and procedures relating to labour market mobility and the new minimum wage in Qatar. Further support will be provided for the implementation and enforcement of the new laws,” ILO said on its website.