Qatar’s Cabinet on Wednesday approved a draft law which stipulates that state-owned private sector companies must strive towards ensuring their overall workforce is made up of at least 60 percent Qatari nationals.
The preliminary decree also states that these companies should strive to increase the ratio of Qatari nationals in their Human Resources departments to a minimum of 80 percent.
Children born to a Qatari mother and non-Qatari father or vice-versa are considered nationals in the Qatarisation percentage.
State-owned companies in the private sector are prohibited from hiring non-Qatari employees for ‘Qatarisation jobs’ which have been determined by the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs.
The government has not yet announced a date for the law implementation or a deadline for the companies to start the Qatarisation process or a deadline for them to reach their goals either.
In Qatar, locals are considered a ‘minority’ with only around 15 percent accounting for the country’s population. Increasing the ratio of Qataris to non-Qataris may not be an easy task, considering the current labour market.
The private sector employs 79 percent of the country’s total labour force, but the percentage of Qataris working there did not exceed 10 percent of its total labour force the last time a census was carried out back in 2018, according to the Planning and Statistics Authority’s labour force surveyfrom that year.
Nationally, and across all sectors, Qatari nationals make up only 5 percent of the total labour force, with many Qataris prefer working in the government sector.
Over 75 percent of working Qataris are employed in the government sector, according to Qatar Statistics Authority while only 38 percent of unemployed Qataris say they wished to work in the private sector, the survey shows.
Among unemployed Qataris with secondary education, their reasons for “not willing to work in the private sector” were low wages, hours of work, and “social status,” in that respective order, according to a May 2020 labour force sample survey.
One of the government’s goals as part of The Qatar National Vision 2030, is to provide permanent employment for at least 50 percent of its citizens through the Qatarisation process. Despite there being an increase in the number of Qatari graduates being awarded university degrees, the target of achieving 60 percent appears to be a tall task and the numbers don’t seem to add up.