Labor official talks tough on Qatarization

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The private sector has no excuse not to set aside 20 percent of its jobs for nationals, a Labor Ministry official has said in an interview with Al Sharq.

Companies ignoring the directive will “have to face the music,” Undersecretary Hussein Al Mulla said.

According to the Qatar Statistics Authority, non-Qataris constitute 99.7 percent of the country’s private sector workforce. This is despite a 1997 Emiri decree that nationals account for one fifth of employees at companies in the private sector.

Industry experts say this is because the private sector doesn’t do enough to attract local talent; that government jobs are easier to get, pay better and entail shorter workdays; and finally, that there simply aren’t enough Qataris to fill the quotas that have been set.

To woo nationals, private sector businesses should make the wages and perks for Qatari employees comparable with those in the government sector, Al Mulla asserts.

The Peninsula translates:

The post of human resource director in all companies (including banks and insurance firms), in which either the government or Qatari citizens have a share, must be given to citizens…

“The private sector has no excuse now. They used to earlier say that Qataris didn’t know English. That excuse can’t work anymore because Qataris do know English,” (Al Mulla) said.

The official also confirmed that Qatar would not be passing its own law to protect domestic workers. But he and other GCC officials adopted a unified draft law on these employees in January. The details of the draft, however, have been criticized for not doing enough to protect vulnerable workers. 

Finally, Al Mulla told Al Sharq that an independent committee to protect the rights of private sector workers, the vast majority of them expats, is still in the works.

Thoughts?

Credit: Photo courtesy of freepik.com

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