Browsing 'qatarization' News

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

MOI/Facebook

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Updated with more on the new law’s leave benefits

Qatar’s Emir has approved new legislation that codifies salary increases for nationals working in government jobs.

Law No. 14 of 2016 on Human Resources Management, which was published in full by Al Sharq yesterday, outlines policies on the hiring, firing, annual leave, benefits and retirement of those in government jobs.

The legislation reiterates the state’s preferential hiring system, as outlined in the previous HR Law No. 8 of 2009. It puts Qatari citizens first, followed by these categories, in order of priority:

  • Children of Qatari women married to non-Qataris;
  • Non-Qatari spouses of Qatari citizens;
  • Nationals of other GCC countries;
  • Arab expats; and
  • Other nationalities.

Once again, several public-sector jobs are exempt from the HR law, including judges, assistant judges, prosecutors, assistant prosecutors; Emiri Diwan employees and those in the diplomatic and consular sectors.

Teaching university faculty and employees working for Qatar Petroleum, the Qatar Investment Authority and the State Audit Bureau are also exempt.

The new law is expected to take effect the day after it’s published in the Official Gazette. According to Al Sharq, this will be in January, at the start of the new fiscal year.

Pay hikes

Though the Emir warned of upcoming austerity measures in a speech last week, the new law does boost base salaries for Qatari government employees.

For example, nationals in Grade 12 positions, the lowest tier for Qataris, can now earn a monthly starting salary of QR4,160, instead of QR2,200-QR2,600.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Omar Chatriwala / Doha News

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

And those in Grade 1 jobs, one of the highest categories, now start at QR35,000, instead of QR17,000-QR21,000.

Payment for non-Qataris appears to remain the same, with Grade 13 (the lowest category for expats) starting at QR2,200 a month. Meanwhile, Grade 1 jobs continue to start at QR17,000.

Promotions to two new grades are now also possible for nationals: Special grade starts at 35,000, and premium grade starts at 43,000 a month.

Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani

QNA

Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani

However, some Qataris said the increases only reflected the pay hikes that Sheikh Tamim handed out in 2011, when he was still Heir Apparent and Deputy Emir.

At the time, he raised salaries for all nationals in the public sector by 60 percent, and military personnel saw a hike of 120 percent.

Qatarization

Many Qataris have praised the new law for raising salaries at a difficult time for oil-rich Gulf countries.

The move also appears to make the government jobs even more tantalizing for nationals.

A year ago, the labor minister pledged to further Qatarize the country’s public sector, so that nine out of 10 such positions would be held by locals in the coming decade.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

MOI

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Qatar does not appear to keep statistics on how many expats currently work in the public sector.

But a 2014 government labor report states that more than a quarter million foreigners hold jobs in government departments and corporations.

Qatarizing many of these positions would be difficult due to the small size of the local population, which accounts for a workforce of less than 100,000 people.

It would also require a great deal of training, which the government is putting new emphasis on.

Private sector

Meanwhile, the government has also been pushing more Qataris to take up jobs in the private sector.

The country’s five-year National Development Strategy had aimed to increase the proportion of Qataris in the private sector to 15 percent by 2016, but fell far short of this goal.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Stewart Lacey/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

This is in part because Qataris appear to prefer better-paying public-sector positions, which also offer more favorable working hours and job security.

The new law does add a few more of these perks, including extending paid sick leave from one to two years for some Qataris; adding a third month of paid maternity leave for a woman who has twins; and extending paid leave from three to five years for a female to take care of her disabled children.

That said, Qatar new five-year national development strategy is expected to emphasize private sector development.

The 2017-2022 document takes effect next year and comes at a time when diversification from oil and gas has become crucial to Qatar’s economic sustainability.

Thoughts?

Qatar's PM Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser Al Thani

QNA

Qatar’s PM Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser Al Thani

Government officials should swiftly finalize their plan to “appoint Qatari citizens in jobs occupied by foreigners,” the country’s prime minister has said.

According to QNA, Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser Al Thani added that Qataris must meet the necessary requirements for such positions.

Al Thani raised the issue recently while speaking to the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labor & Social Affairs (MADLSA).

He didn’t specify whether the jobs were to be in the public or private sector.

But last year, officials did pledge to further nationalize government positions so that some nine out of 10 such jobs would be held by Qataris by 2026.

Qatarization

The renewed push to Qatarize comes as the nation’s five-year National Development Strategy reaches its conclusion.

It had aimed to increase the proportion of Qataris in the private sector to 15 percent by this year.

But only a fraction of nationals have entered that workforce.

Experts have said this is partly because Qataris appear to prefer better-paying public-sector positions, which also offer more favorable working hours and job security.

Meanwhile, Qatar’s PM has also instructed MADLSA to establish a “clear and quick” process to help Qatari citizens find housing.

Thoughts?

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Alexis Methenitis/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Qatar will further nationalize its public sector in the coming decade so that some nine out of 10 such jobs will be held by Qataris, the country’s Minister of Administrative Development has said.

According to QNA, Dr. Issa Saad Al-Jafali Al-Nuaimi announced the goal during a meeting about skills development, in which he emphasized cooperation between his ministry and other government bodies.

Qatar does not appear to keep statistics on how many expats work in the public sector.

However, according to a 2014 labor report from the Ministry of Development, Planning and Statistics (MDPS), more than a quarter million foreigners hold jobs in government departments and corporations.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Qatar Culture Club

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Qatarizing many of these jobs would be difficult due to the small size of the local population. It would also require a great deal of training, which Al-Nuami said has been ongoing.

The Qatar Tribune reports that the Ministry of Administrative Development recently prepared a “guidance scheme” for Qatari high school and university students to explain the needs of the local labor market, including for “specialized” government positions.

It is also coordinating with Qatar University, Community College of Qatar and the Supreme Education Council to encourage young Qataris to work in the government sector, the newspaper added.

Private sector

The move comes amid a years-long, mostly unsuccessful push to get more Qataris to take up non-government jobs.

 Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Martin Cathrae/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Though the National Development Strategy had aimed to increase the proportion of Qataris in the private sector to 15 percent by 2016, only a fraction of nationals have entered that workforce.

This is in part because Qataris appear to prefer better-paying public-sector positions, which also offer more favorable working hours and job security.

However, falling global oil prices are eroding public revenues, making the old system of relying on well-paid government jobs unsustainable, according to international management consulting firm EY, which published a GCC-wide report earlier this year.

Three years ago, Qatar National Bank warned the same thing in its 2012 Economic Insight report:

“The private sector provides opportunities for nationals to gain knowledge and skills from expatriates.

This is central to establishing the new businesses and industries that are part of Qatar’s long-term development goals of diversification and job creation (the government will not be able to provide the vast majority of Qatari jobs indefinitely).”

It also pointed out that in 2011, expats continued to make up 99 percent of the private sector workforce, which added almost 10 times as many jobs in the last four years as the government and accounted for 75 percent of all jobs in the country.

Thoughts?