Institutions, local government agencies, and international organisations now have access to monthly statistics on Qatar’s labour market.
The public can now view Qatar’s monthly labour statistics thanks to a recently added feature on the Ministry of Labour’s website, authorities announced, as the Gulf state continues to push for more transparency amid ongoing criticism over migrant worker rights.
The introduction of the new platform provides a higher level of transparency and easier access to statistics on a monthly basis, and authorities say it fit into the ministry’s strategy to keep the public informed.
By simply clicking on the ‘monthly statistics’ button on the website’s home page, the user is directed to a visual breakdown of numbers from four departments: the Recruitment Department, the Labour Relation Department, and the Labour Inspection Department.
In terms of recruitment, the website provides the application numbers of new recruitment, profession amendments, and work permits, as well as pending status for applications.
According to the new numbers, July saw 2,680 approved recruitments while 2,012 were rejected; 2,641 approved profession amendments while 781 were rejected, and 666 approved work permits as well as 156 rejections.
As for labour relations, users can view the number of complaints workers and domestic workers made against their employer to the ministry. The website shows that July alone recorded a total of 1,060 complaints, 233 of which were resolved and the rest were sent to the committee for review.
Lastly, under the inspection department section, viewers are able to obtain the number of company alerts to remove violations, the number of recorded violations against companies, and the number of those that were suspended.
Last month recorded 412 alerts, 473 violations, and zero company suspension.
With the new addition, the website can now provide institutions, local government agencies, and international organisations with access to the most recent monthly statistics on Qatar’s labor market with ease.
Qatar has been placed under international scrutiny over its treatment of migrant workers ever since it won the bid to host the first FIFA World Cup event in the Middle East.
Over the past few years, Qatar has seen a number of labour reforms. In 2021, they introduced the region’s first ever non-discriminatory minimum wage law.
Additionally, Qatar approved two key laws in August 2020 to eliminate barriers on migrant workers leaving the country and changing jobs without permission from their employers.
Doha also launched a new platform for workers’ complaints in May 2021 to enable employees to submit public violations of the labour law.
The new laws have the potential to strike at the core of the Kafala system, which continues to link migrant workers to their employers, if effectively implemented. However, there are numerous cases of employers not abiding by the reforms.
Employees told Amnesty International that changing employment still comes with major obstacles and opposition from dissatisfied bosses.
Qatar’s Minister of Labour Ali Al Marri recently stated that the legislative updates and improvements in the labour sector in recent years have been “continuous and sustainable” and will continue after the World Cup.
Earlier this month, some sixty workers were arrested after gathering in the streets to protest six months of unpaid work in Qatar, according to Migrant Rights.
A number of protesters were also deported from the Gulf state for taking part in the demonstration, described by authorities as a breach of public security laws.
In an interview with Doha News last month, employees at Al Bandary Engineering, Trading and Contracting, said they were not paid for more than seven months. More than 208 employees submitted a complaint to the Ministry of Labour, the workers told Doha News.
Photos and footage seen by Doha News have shown similar scenes of protest by employees of the same company on several occasions over the last few months.
In its statement, the government confirmed it was already investigating the company ahead of the latest round of demonstrations.
“The company was already under investigation by the authorities for non- payment of wages before the incident, and now further action is being taken after a deadline to settle outstanding salary payments was missed,” the statement read, noting that all delayed salaries and benefits are being paid by the Ministry of Labour through the Workers’ Support and Insurance Fund.
Authorities in Doha also pointed to past occasions in which peaceful protests were responded to with swift probes to resolve various issues faced by workers.