The new minimum wage law in Qatar has been published in the Official Gazette and will come into effect six months from now in March 2021.
New minimum wage law published; Came into effect in March 2021
Unofficial Translation of the New Minimum Wage Law
Law No. (17) of 2020 Determining the National Minimum Wage for Workers and Domestic Workers
We, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar having perused, The Constitution, Labour Law promulgated by Law No. (14) of 2004, and the laws amending it.
Law No. (15) of 2017 on Domestic Workers, the Proposal of the Minister of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs, the Bill submitted by the Council of Ministers, after consulting the Shura Council
Have hereby promulgated the following law:
For the purposes of this Law, the following terms and expressions shall have the meanings hereunder assigned thereto, unless the context otherwise requires:
“Ministry”: the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs.
“Minister”: the Minister of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs.
“Employer”: any natural or legal person who employs one worker or more for wage, and any natural person for whom the domestic worker works.
“Worker”: any natural person working with pay for and under the management or supervision of an employer,
“Domestic Worker”: any natural person performing remunerated domestic work under the management and supervision of an employer, such as drivers, nannies, cooks, gardeners, or those legally assimilated to this status,
“Minimum Wage”: the lowest amount that workers and domestic workers can receive by virtue of this law regardless of their tasks, earnings or skills levels.
The national minimum wage level shall be prescribed in a decision by the Minister and shall be reviewed once a year at least, while taking into account economic factors, including economic growth, competitiveness and productivity as well as the needs of the workers and their families.
The wage earned by workers or domestic workers shall not be less than the amount specified in the previous article and an agreement made otherwise is deemed invalid.
Employers shall adjust wages of their workers and domestic workers if these wages are inferior to the minimum wage, in line with the minimum wage prescribed in this law, without prejudice to wages that exceed the minimum wage.
If a worker does not receive a fixed wage, and if the aggregate rate of what he/she earns monthly is inferior to the minimum wage prescribed in this law, employers shall reimburse the worker an additional amount that is equivalent to the difference between the earnings of the worker and the minimum wage.
A Minimum Wage Commission shall be established at the Ministry. Its establishment, rules of procedure and remuneration shall be determined by a decision of the Council of Ministers, upon the Minister’s proposal.
The Secretariat of the Commission shall consist of one or more Ministry staff, whose appointment, mandate and remuneration shall be determined by a decision of the Minister.
The Commission mentioned in the previous article shall be competent to examine and review the minimum wage for workers and domestic workers in line with the parameters stipulated in article (2) of this Law and to provide its recommendations to the Minister for adoption,
In the event of a violation of the provisions of this law by a natural person, the Ministry may suspend the person’s operations that are similar to the operation subject of this violation.
In the event of a violation of the provisions of this law by a legal person, the Ministry may suspend any operations related thereto.
All the competent authorities, each within its remit, shall implement the provisions of this law, which shall enter into force the day after its publication in the Official Gazette
Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani
Amir of the State of Qatar
Issued at the Emir’s Diwan on 11/1/1442 A.H,
Corresponding to 30/8/2020 AD.
A jail term of one year and a fine of up to QR 10,000 is the new penalty for non-compliance with the labor law regarding payment of minimum wage to workers, according to Fahad Al Dossary, Director of the Labor Inspection Department at the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs.
With regard to violation of the conditions and specifications of workers’ accommodation, Al Dosari said the violators will now face imprisonment for a period of six months and a fine of not less than QR2,000 and not more than QR100,000. In the case of repeat violations, the penalties will be stiff, he added.
On Sunday, August 30, 2020, Qatar made history by announcing two significant labor reforms – setting a minimum wage and removal of the No Objection Certificate (NOC). For sure you’ve heard the good news and we know you have questions. We gathered the questions we got from you, our readers, and compiled them below to help you!
Frequently asked questions about the new minimum wage law
1. How much is the new minimum wage?
Law No. 17 of 2020 on Setting the Minimum Wage for Workers and Domestic Workers sets the minimum wage for all private-sector workers, including domestic workers, at QAR 1,000 per month as a basic wage, as well as QR 500 per month allocated by the employer for accommodation expenses and QR 300 per month for food, unless the employer already provides adequate food and accommodation for the employee or domestic worker.
2. When will the law take effect?
The new law will come into force 6 months after its publication in the official gazette.
3. What is the Official Gazette?
According to Law No. 1 of 1961, an official government gazette shall be established, in which all legislation shall be published following the effective date of its coming into force. The purpose of the gazette shall be to inform the general public of the promulgation of new legislation.
You can view the Official Gazette through the website of the Ministry of Justice.
4. Does the minimum wage affect only domestic workers and laborers?
No, it applies to everyone in Qatar’s private sector regardless of nationality, industry, or job. The law is non-discriminatory. No other country in the region provides a non-discriminatory minimum wage for workers. This reform is the first of its kind in the Middle East. Minimum wages that have been implemented in other parts of the Middle East only apply to certain nationalities
5. Will there be a new contract once the new law comes into effect?
The Ministry of Administrative Development, Labor and Social Affairs (MADLSA) will be working with employers to update all employment contracts where workers earn less than the amount established by the new law.
6. How is the new minimum wage beneficial to workers?
- The new minimum wage sets a country-wide basic wage for all workers.
- It will provide stability to Qatar’s labor market.
- Provide a financial guarantee to all workers.
7. If the employer provides food and accommodation, how much is the minimum wage?
The employee will be paid no less than QR 1,000 as a basic wage.
8. What if the employer provides accommodation but no food?
The employee will be paid no less than QR 1,300. QR 1,000 as a basic wage plus QR 300 food allowance.
9. What if the employer does not provide both food and accommodation?
The employee will be paid no less than QR 1,800. QR 1,000 as a basic wage plus QR 300 food allowance and QR 500 accommodation allowance.
10. How will it be enforced?
- Qatar’s State Cabinet has passed a draft law to increase the financial and non-financial penalties for companies violating labor laws, including in cases of delayed salary payments.
- MADLSA will be working with employers to update their employment contracts and ensure they are in line with the new legislation within the next six months.
- A Minimum Wage Committee will be formed and tasked with frequently studying and reviewing the minimum wage of employees and domestic workers.
- If a company currently has employees on its payroll system who earn less than the amount set out above, this must be amended in accordance with the new minimum wage. If the payroll system contains wages that are above these amounts, employers must not breach the terms of the contract by lowering the wages.
- Ministry is educating workers to make sure they understand their rights and know-how to access the help available to enforce those rights
11. Does this law also apply to those earning less than the set minimum wage?
Yes, the law will apply to those earning less than the new minimum wage once it comes into effect.
12. Does this law apply to those earning more than the minimum wage?
No, the law will not apply if the employee’s basic salary plus food and accommodation is higher than the set minimum wage.
13. Can an employer reduce an employee’s basic salary to the new minimum wage?
If the payroll system contains wages that are above these amounts, employers must not breach the terms of the contract by lowering the wages.
14. What can an employee do if they receive below the minimum wage after the new law comes into effect?
The employee can raise this issue with his/her employer or the MADLSA. You can file a complaint to MADLSA personally or by calling the hotline 16008 or email email@example.com.