Kafala sponsorship laws to come into force 13 Dec

Qatar's much criticised kafala law is due to be officially amended with a new law coming into effect mid-December 2016.

After numerous delays, amendments and postponements, the new kafala law is due to be enforced in mid-December.
After numerous delays, amendments and postponements, the new kafala law is due to be enforced in mid-December.

Kafala sponsorship laws are due to finally see light of day in 13 December 2016

Arabic daily Al Sharq reports that the much anticipated and long-awaited changes to Qatar’s kafala sponsorship laws will come into force on 13 December 2016.

The eagerly awaited new rules were approved back in October 2015 by the Emir with the pledge that it would be enforced within a year of approval.

The law has been widely criticised by human rights organisations for enabling the abuse of expats in Qatar at the hands of unscrupulous sponsors, with some companies holding passports of expat workers, preventing them from leaving the country.

Under the law, foreign residents must obtain permission from their sponsors to obtain bank loans, a driver’s license and – most controversially – exit Qatar.

The new law should make it easier for some expats to leave the country or change jobs.

One of the key changes in the new law is that expats will apply to the government – rather than their sponsor – for an exit permit.

While no official statement has been made yet around the exact date of enforcement, government officials indicated several months ago that it would take effect in mid-December.

Doha News reported in May 2016 that Hassan Al-Thawadi – the secretary-general of Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy – reportedly said it would abolish the kafala system by “replacing it with a contractual agreement between employer and employee."

Doha News has linked an English version of the new law here

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