Qatar: 3 Nov for online wage system deadline

In an effort to streamline payment to its huge migrant workforce, Qatar is implementing an online payment system that has set 3 November as the deadline for implementation.

Deadline for online payment system for low-paid workers set for 3 November.
Deadline for online payment system for low-paid workers set for 3 November.

The deadline for implementing the mandatory online payment system for low-paid workers has been set at 3 November.

Private companies have until this date to comply and, failure to abide by the rule would make them liable to punishment, including the withholding of work visas and refusal to endorse workers' job contracts.

The new system, called the Wage Protection System (WPS), will apply to all private companies – as all fall under the labour law, number 14 of 2004.

The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, responsible for implementing and supervising the new payment mode, has urged all private companies to adhere to this deadline, warning that it will stop all transactions with non-complying entities unless they rectify their situation. "The deadline for the companies to comply with the Wage Protection System (WPS), ends on 3 November," the ministry has stated on its website.

The ministry said it would closely monitor the WPS in coordination with the banking regulator, Qatar Central Bank (QCB) which has issued circulars to all banks and financial institutions in the country to open accounts for workers who have valid ID card.

After opening their accounts banks must develop an automated system to transfer worker wages under the WPS.

This automated system should be such that the labour ministry and the Ministry of Interior should be able to actively monitor and ensure that all WPS-beneficiary workers are paid salaries.

The system would show the number of workers in any company’s employ, their salaries and whether or not they have been paid.

Companies must pay their workers through the WPS within seven days of the due date. Delays will be punished and a reconciliation would be possible only if a complainant (worker) takes his complaint of delayed payment back, said the Ministry.

The labour ministry has a dedicated inspection unit only to keep tab on companies and ensure they comply with the WPS. Inspectors, rigorously trained in their job, would catch violations if any, and take the violating company to task.

Non-compliers can even be prosecuted, as per the amendment to the labour law that were carried out this year to help implement the WPS.

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