Read How the Qataris Run their Country's Economy: Law Fails to Stop Labor Exploitation

A number of small businesses have been accused of exploiting their workers by denying them simple benefits laid down in Qatar’s labor law.

According to some employees – many of whom put in long hours in grocery stores, restaurants, cafeterias, juice stalls and convenience shops – their bosses are routinely flouting the rules because they know they can get away with it.

The Qatar Labor Law was introduced to safeguard the interests and welfare of low-paid workers and clearly states the legal working hours in the country; mandatory overtime rates; and benefits such as one flight home a year.

Adding insult to injury, more and more small businesses are wilfully ignoring the rules as the number of expatriates rises.

Unlike large groups of workers, say in the field of construction, who band together to fight for their rights, employees in small businesses often feel isolated and unable to air their grievances.

“Workers of smaller establishments like restaurants and cafeterias may have numerous problems at their work places, but they rarely seek our mission’s intervention,” said an official at the Indian embassy.
He added that the embassy’s help is mostly sought only when employers terminate workers at short notice.
Most of small business employees are brought into Qatar on visas provided by their bosses.

“After we pay for visas, deductions are made every month from our salaries for stamping the visa,” explained one grocery worker. He said that he knew of no one who has been provided with health cards. “As a result when one falls sick he needs to meet his medical bills from his own pocket.”

Another grocery worker in Najma said he has had to buy his own air ticket to travel home for his vacation once every two years. “As per the labor law, employers should give tickets to their workers when they travel home on vacation,” clarifies Indian legal expert Nizar Kochery.

He adds that an employee has the right to seek the intervention of the labour department if such benefits are denied to him.

However, a grocery store owner told Gulf Times that most of his workers are not under his sponsorship, thus not making him liable for such provisions, enshrined in the relevant law. But he had no answer when asked whether his workers have been employed with prior permission from the concerned departments.

According to Articles 73, 74 and 75 of the Qatar Labor Law, workers are also entitled to overtime allowances if their work exceeds the stipulated 8 hours. Article 73 stipulates that eight hours a day and 48 hours per week is the maximum for workers. However, it is an open secret that staff at most groceries, cafeterias and restaurants put in at least twice this stipulated time and still are not paid for the additional hours.

The law also clearly states that during Ramadan, the maximum permissible working hours should be reduced to 6 hours a day and 36 hours a week.

Article 74 ensures that workers get overtime for extra hours, but they should not exceed 10 hours a day unless there is an emergency. The worker is entitled to an additional 25% of their wages for the extra work.

According to Article 75, workers should also get a weekly paid rest and if they work on a rest day they should be given 150% of their basic wage.

Article 3 has not exempted supermarkets or similar establishments from the application of the labor law.
“Unfortunately, most of such provisions are violated by operators of smaller establishments,” says Kochery.

Source: Gulf Times

Comments

Life in Doha 1984-2011

Problems faced at home due to issues back in School and teachers treating in a very intolerant way when singing any Indian chants/National Anthem/Vande Mataram etc at the school premises while being in the Company of Muslim students. On another occasion, they even blamed Ghandhiji (father of our Nation) and called him Gaandooji (Sir Eunuch) for some reason and when I asked them why they said so, they said it was because their father taught them like that. I could understand if one or 2 among the crowd supported what this guy sweared but the whole crowd was cheering him.

Several situations which provoked fear and tensions and also to mix freely with opposite sex due to religious biasing and also uncompromising and intolerant religious principles being followed by other kids and people who were interacting with me starting from childhood all the way into adolescence and teenage. Adding to this my hypersensitiveness aggravated the situation and gave me fewer chances to express myself.

Child abused at the age of 10 by some people after luring me to play video games at their shop. Although I acted quickly by kicking on their balls and had the strength and courage to fight them off. This was also with great difficulty that I had to cope with life after that for few years. Eventually coming out of it but with a frustrated and depressed mind.

Parents staying away from social get-togethers due to some sadistic people who were against him coming up in his life and were jealous of his prosperity.

Mother being subject to wolves in sheep skin, coming at home when everyone is away and trying to molest/Rape her on the pretext that she would be offered a job in some Company.

College life was a big failure even though ….loan problem faced by Dad, intolerance and BP of father leading to more fights at home. Hyper Fathers reaction often ended in verbal fights and .

Social out-casting and ostracizing by religious groups or Islamists who want their religion to control everything in this planet. Who also feel that everyone who is against any of their religious teachings to be punished severely.

Implicating false cases, Spitting on food and serving in Restaurants, Sabotage, psychological torture (direct and indirect). Using all means and methods to cause mental torture so that I will be forced to either suicide or leave the Country by falling into a trap set by some of these Sadists. Trying to prevent from having meeting with opposite sex, Call hacking, tapping and total communication surveillance 24 hours of the day 365 days a year for the last 10-11 years.

Being framed and cast as an infidel, enemy of the state for watching pornography at home, TV bugged with spycam and broadcasting live images of self-masturbation. Being made a mockery of sorts from day to day basis. No friends and no one wants to be friends for this reason. No one ready to help financially because of these reasons. Acquaintences if they are Muslims, not ready to cooperate at all for any thing or for any reason like if they have been programmed by someone to do like this. This all are done even though my attitude and approach to them is friendly and with respect.

Poisoned while at sleep using some gas which sometimes causes too much sleep and sometimes no sleep at all for days.

Another technique is to Confront and befriend my brother by some group of people to lure him and convert his religion and thoughts to match with theirs. Trying to change his religion and remove his thoughts/beliefs/respect/ideas about his current religion entirely from his mind and create hatred for everyone who is supporting his current religion including myself and his older friends.

Trying to make life extremely difficult and situations intolerable and irritating by neglecting grant of loans from banks, cash strapping as much as possible and also passing comments like “how long he can survive by eating Khubs and drinking water”

Unnecessary involvement in my private life by some people who follow their religion like a blind faith doctrine which is causing agony, fear, tension, mental frustration, depression, loss of loved ones, psychological harassment in day to day life by using call tapping, spycams at home and causing mockery of self at workplace/outside and at home. Blocking interview calls for my brother who has been trying hard to get a job for past 2 ½ years. Business calls interrupted/blocked/diverted/dropped midway and influencing themselves on family matters by using family friends (posing). All but few of the instances I have been going through continuously.

Would suggest all Amercans, Jews especially to Stay away from this Country, cause they would also get food with Spit inside it even though they might be treating you differently cause they think you are powerful so all the respect is just shown for the sake of protecting their ass. Trust me that all that is written here is true to the last word and doesn't mean harm to anyone. Although me and my family have suffered more than anyone there for no fault of ours. By the way, My father passed away after suffering from cancer due to all this and although he had helped many to get jobs and do good to the Qatar society, this is what he and us got in return in this Country which wants to show a good face hiding all the evil within. If you find any truth in this and like to help, do write to me on my email grp05yat@gmail.com. Pls also note that if there are some cases against me then it is the outcome of all the above said and I will always contest my innocence. Cause if we really had done something wrong then the CID of this country would have thrown us out by now.

I have resigned from by job

I have resigned from by job 2 months ago, but my employer refuses to cancel my visa. What can I do.

Qatari Drivers

I recently experienced the apalling driving behaviour of a local Qatari who in is rush decided that it would be fun to actually ram the back of my car and physically push me through a roundabout using his dark brown Landcruiser simply because he was in a hurry...I have never experienced such arogance and dispicable behaviour from an individual in my life...he reflects poorly on the rest of the Qatari people and I can safely say that my opinion of Qatari males in particular has sunk to a new level...where are the police when you need them..?? They are next to useless...not to mention the amount of times I've seen the police driving recklessly whilst talking on their mobile phones...its sad to say but I think Qatar needs additional police to police the useless police they have. Just a thought.

Who enforces any of the "laws" around here?

Why just stop at labor laws? Who enforces the No Smoking in Public Places law, in effect since 2005? Who enforces what and where large trucks can drive? Who enforces overweight trucks (tearing up the new asphalt on Salwa Road before the project is even completed)? Aren't children supposed to be in seat belts at least? You are talking about a country where the local citizens can't even drive between the lines let alone something as complicated as figuring out how many hours their maid may have worked that week!

Labour Law?

A law is only useful when there are enforcement and administration of justice. In Qatar, a law is just a law. It doesn't mean a thing. The police are too afraid to enforce it and the judges are too stupid to administer it. The passing of a law in Qatar is meaningless. I suspect this is the same elsewhere in the Gulf. All laws of the world are based on a written code and the administration of the written code by a group of individuals (judges) The laws are based on due process where people are able to defend themselves via a lawyer. In Qatar, there are no such things. There is no law.

When a crime has been committed, it depends on the person committing the crime. If he is connected to a well connected family, I suspect the case will not even go through the police. It will be dismissed right away. Meaning, you can get away with murder in Qatar if you know the right person. Even if the police took action and bring the person to "justice", there is still the issue of the interpretation of the law. In Qatar, the law is interpreted individually by the judges. meaning there is no precedence. Even if a judge before this judge had sentenced a person to jail, the different judge means it is up to him to interpret the law. He could allow the guy to go scott free since it is up to him to interpret the law. This is only one complication in the laws in Qatar.

There are a lot. Companies coming to the Gulf must be aware that the law here is "different" from any civilized countries. You can be right and still be wrong ......

Labour Law?

How right you are! I was working several years in Qatar and two contracts were said to be under Qatar Labour Law.. were said ..and written. But, although written, they were not, but semi governmental. This you have to find out on your own when you are in troubles because they did not pay you or terminate your contract without any valid or legal reason or warning when you try to get your rights.
It came out twice since I wanted to go to the usual Qatar Labour Dept. in Industrial area to place an official complaint in order to try to get a quick Hearing (the only chance in Qatar in case of.. to get heard and maybe to get some of your rights before opening an official Court Case). But, they told me.." sorry, this Company, and this Company is not under Qatar Labour Law, but governmental". My comment: "But look, its written in my contract and in all possible mails and papers" Answer from the Head of Labour Dept." Its not" ! This was verified and confirmed then as well by the Director of the Labour Dept. in the Ministry of Labour, C-Ring-Rd. " Its not under Qatar Labour Law" ! To ask 'why' is useless as everytime you ask this question in Qatar. Simply, there's no answer, as they do what they want! So, the only chance remains to open an official Civil Court case which lasts forever and you lose further high costs for lawyers, translations etc., etc.. , all things to avoid that people can fight for their rights in this rightless place on earth!