15/09/2020

Moving towards WPS 2.0:: Recent measures taken to strengthen wage protection in Qatar

1. The WPS Unit is now able to detect additional violations, including payment under the
minimum wage. The Salary Information File that employers submit on a monthly basis with
information on each worker’s wages is being amended to collect additional details. By
adding specific fields on the food allowance, housing allowance and overtime (rather than a
single field for “additional income”), there will be more clarity and transparency on how
workers’ wages are calculated. This will take on additional importance once the minimum
wage comes into force, as there will be a minimum monetary value mandated for food and
accommodation allowances respectively.
2. Electronic contracts are increasingly prevalent in the country, and can be accessed by the
WPS Unit. E-contracts are not only signed in the Qatar Visa Centres in countries of origin,
but are now also signed when renewing residency permits in Qatar. The e-contract includes
fields for wages, the food allowance and the housing allowance.
3. The WPS Unit has been swifter in imposing blocks on companies for violations, preventing
them from receiving ADLSA services. In January 2020, the WPS Unit imposed blocks on 588
companies. Later in the year, as the impact of the lockdown and Covid-19 restrictions took
hold, more companies were found to be in violation of the WPS, and in June 8,756
companies were blocked.
4. Violations are also increasingly referred to the police for action, and communication with
the Ministry of Interior is being strengthened to ensure timely action on priority cases. In
2019, there were 2,318 such referrals.
5. In August 2020, ADLSA increased the penalties for non-payment of wages stipulated in the
Labour Law, specifically a maximum prison sentence of one year, and a maximum fine of
QAR 10,000.
6. All labour inspectors are being trained on forced labour and trafficking, including on how to
identify these crimes and the fact that the withholding of wages is a strong indicator.
7. Positive incentives for WPS compliance are also being explored. A pilot initiative in public
procurement is under development where the WPS Unit will issue a ‘certificate of
compliance’ to contractors as a prerequisite for submitting bids to a particular client.
8. Domestic workers are currently not covered by the Labour Law, and therefore not covered
by the WPS. However, building on the initiative of ADLSA and Qatar Central Bank to facilitate
the opening of bank accounts for domestic workers earlier in 2020 (in light of the measures
to prevent the spread of Covid-19), discussions are underway about the possible adoption
of a mechanism similar to WPS specifically for domestic workers. Discussions are ongoing
with the Central Bank, the International Domestic Workers Federation and a software
development company.
9. A review of international good practice on the issuance of payslips was commissioned, and
the results are currently under review. Different models of issuing payslips will be
considered so as to provide workers with clarity and transparency on how their wages are
calculated.
10. Awareness raising materials have been published for enterprises about WPS registration.
Additional materials are under development.
11. The WPS Unit is now able to generate its own reports on a daily basis to track the number of
violations or blocks imposed on companies. Previously, the Unit relied on an external
Department to prepare this information. The Strategic Office of the Labour Inspection

https://www.ilo.org/beirut/projects/qatar-office/WCMS_755219/lang--en/index.htm

2/3

Select target paragraph3