Qatar’s Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs is distributing CDs containing uniform job contract format for private companies.
This is done on an experimental basis to see the merits and demerits of electronic employment contract system which is likely to be introduced by the Labour Ministry in 2016.
Companies are supposed to fill up the employment contract form handed to them in CDs and return them to the Ministry. A company representative can later visit the Ministry and pay the required fees, reports Al Sharq.
New system not mandatory for all companies
The online employer-employee contract system will not be mandatory and only those companies will be part of the new system that volunteer to participate.
Only those companies that have volunteered are taking part in the experimental CD system.
The Ministry is also making an extensive database of private companies and the online contract system aims at making contract-signing a transparent system.
Protecting the rights of foreign workers
The new system will protect the rights of foreign workers as companies wouldn’t be able to change the terms and conditions originally agreed to with a worker in his home country once he arrives here.
Workers, before coming to Qatar to take up a job, will be able to access a government website and key in their name and visa number to access their job contract containing terms and conditions, including pay and perks.
Once in Qatar a worker will be required to key in his Qatari ID number to access his e-contract on the said website.
Endorsement of an online job contract by the Labour Ministry will be done automatically if all the requirements are fulfilled, and the company will be informed of it and it will be able to pay the required fee using a credit card.
Companies will also be informed when an e-contract is expiring.
Online contracts in 10 languages
The online service will be initially offered in 10 languages, including Urdu and Nepalese. It is understood that the other languages could be of those expatriate communities that have a larger presence here.
Job contracts in Qatar are presently in two languages — Arabic and English.
The new system is being introduced as part of a series of labour reforms Qatar is introducing. The country is launching a Wage Protection System (WPS) whereby blue-collar workers will be paid salaries online. Plans are also afoot to replace the present kafala and exit permit systems with expatriate-friendly systems.