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Draft kafala law referred for final nod

Discussion in 'Working in Qatar' started by Bonjiek Dakoykoy, Sep 10, 2015.

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  1. Bonjiek Dakoykoy

    Bonjiek Dakoykoy
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    May 24, 2015
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    The much-awaited changes to Qatar’s kafala system would come into force only a year after the new sponsorship law is passed and published in the official gazette.

    The law, which would replace the current sponsorship system, is likely to be issued by the year-end as its draft was yesterday referred by the Cabinet to higher-ups for final approval and issuance.

    Like all laws, it is to be published in the official gazette.

    Article 50 of the Draft Law indicates that it is to be put into force only a year after its publication in the official gazette, according to famous lawyer Yusuf Al Zaman.

    The reason for the time to be allowed for the law’s enforcement is to ensure that a conducive social and economic environment is created in the country and administrative and executive agencies are ready for applying the new system.

    That would also give the private companies covered by the labour law enough time to correct their situation to be able to comply with the changes, Al Zaman said.

    He told The Peninsula yesterday that for the first time in more than 50 years, in the new law being introduced, terms like ‘sponsor’ (kafeel), ‘sponsorship’ (kafala), ‘exit permit’ (tashera al khurooj) will not be used, as the sponsorship law which has those terms was enforced in 1963.

    They would be replaced by newer ones like ‘employer’, ‘employee’ or ‘expat worker’ as the new law would regulate the relationship of foreign worker with his employer based on job contract they mutually agree to sign.

    The draft does away with the exit permit system but the Advisory Council has recommended that expatriates leaving the country must inform their employers at least three days in advance, said Al Zaman.

    The employer would, though, have no right to object and stop the worker from travelling overseas. If at all, that right will be exercised only by the public prosecution, the courts or any other competent legal authority, said the lawyer. And that right would be exercised only if there is a lawsuit against an expat worker or any other legal issue.

    In those circumstance also an order to prevent a worker from travelling abroad must be issued by public prosecution or a court or any other legal authority, said Al Zaman. By introducing the new law, he said, Qatar would, thus, be fulfilling its promise of changing its sponsorship system.

    “I understand from what the Minister of Labor and Social Affairs and other senior government officials have been saying that the law should be out by the end of this year,” said Al Zaman when asked how soon he thought the new legislation could be expected.The Peninsula

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