Qatar is all set to launch the much-awaited Wage Protection System (WPS) whereby all private sector workers will be paid salaries online through banking channels. The new system will apply to all private companies—as all of them are covered by the labor law, number 14 of 2004.
Here is step-by-step guide on how the system works :
Step 1 : Open bank accounts for all employees
- Qatar Central Bank has issued circulars to all banks and financial institutions in the country to open accounts for workers who have valid ID card.
- Any bank refusing to open salary account for workers will be punishable.
Step 2 : Company prepares employees’ data
- Companies will have to make CSV files to save data in a table-structured format.
- The tables will carry workers’ names, account numbers and payable salaries in serial numbers. Check with your bank for exact format.
- CSV files can be prepared in Microsoft Excel. After saving the Excel file for future editing, save a copy as Comma Separated Values (.csv).
- Companies will also be required to save CSV files in CDs or whatever other format agreed with the bank.
Step 3 : Company transfers salary
- A company will transfer salaries of its WPS-beneficiary workers to its bank before the due date.
Step 4 : Bank checks balance and transfers to workers’ accounts
- The bank which will check data and whether the firm has sufficient balance in its account.
- If the balance is sufficient, the bank will credit salaries to workers’ accounts and they will be notified.
- If the balance is not sufficient, the bank would get back to the company.
Monitoring by Ministries
All banks must develop an automated system to transfer worker wages under the WPS.
This automated system should be such that the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and the Ministry of Interior should be able to actively monitor and ensure that all WPS-beneficiary workers are paid salaries.
The ministries would simply insert a ‘Card Number’ of a company in their computer systems and immediately the screen would show the number of workers in its employ, their salaries and whether or not they have been paid.
The labor 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.
- All 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.
- Non-compliers can even be prosecuted, as per the amendment to the labor law that were carried out this year to help implement the WPS.
Punishments for non-compliance
Companies’ failure to abide by the rule would make them liable to punishment, including denial of work visas and refusal to endorse workers’ job contracts.
The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs has said that it will stop all transactions with non-complying entities unless they mend their ways and rectify their situation.
NOTE : The deadline for the companies to comply with the WPS ends on 2 November 2015.