Qatar: Migrant Welfare Protection

Last Updated: 9 November 2016
Article by Emma Higham

The decision by FIFA's World Cup Organising Committee to award Qatar the World Cup in 2022 continues to attract scrutiny and enquiry from both the world's media and a host of international governmental and not for profit organisations amid concerns regarding the safety, security and welfare of Qatar's migrant workforce who are helping to build the civic infrastructure to help Qatar deliver a memorable World Cup. One area of international concern is whether there is a robust framework to protect Qatar's migrant workforce. As well as ensuring that sufficient safeguards have been implemented, the Qatari authorities are being asked to demonstrate that these safeguards are being monitored and enforced consistently amongst all stakeholders and interested parties. This article aims to provide a general overview of the framework which has been established to protect Qatar's migrant workforce and the various measures which both government and quasi-government bodies have developed in this regard.

Qatar National Vision 2030 ("QNV 2030")

QNV 2030 defines the long-term outcomes for the country as a whole. It provides a framework within which national strategies and implementation plans can be developed.

QNV 2030 is premised on four key pillars. The first pillar relates to Human Development with a focus on the targeted participation of expatriate labour. A key focus for Human Development is the recruitment of the right mix of expatriate labour, protecting their rights, securing their safety and the retention of employees who are outstanding.


In the context of QNV 2030, Qatar Foundation ("QF") adopted its comprehensive Migrant Workers' Charter ("MWC") in 2012 and, more recently the Qatari 2022 Supreme Committee, now renamed the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, issued a workers' charter aimed at creating a safe working environment for the thousands of expatriate workers who are employed on the various World Cup and other projects which are and will be undertaken by QF and the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy. 

Of particular interest, the MWC commits all Contractors and Sub-Contractors to deliver the requirements set out in the MWC, the Mandatory Welfare Standards ("MWS") and all relevant Qatar laws. In addition to containing a number of fundamental guiding principles which amongst other things are designed to ensure that Contractors/Sub-Contractors exert the necessary standard of care to ensure that the dignity of employees is protected and preserved throughout their recruitment, placement, sojourn and repatriation; and, to ensure that they do not allow or tolerate any forced labour, human trafficking practices or other violations of human and labour rights, the MWS (which embodies the MWC) lists the laws and regulations, in addition to the Immigration and Labour Laws, i.e. the laws most commonly associated with employees in Qatar, in an Annex.  

Laws and Regulations

Adherence to Qatar laws and regulations is key, not only for QF's Contractors and Sub-Contractors, but also for all employers employing expatriates in Qatar in accordance with the Qatar Labour Law, i.e. not one of the exempt categories of expatriate employees, including Government employees or employees working in the oil and gas sector.  It is interesting to note however that when asked which laws and regulations govern the employment of expatriate employees in Qatar, many employers, whilst they are aware of the Immigration and Labour Laws, are not sufficiently of the existence of the various Ministerial Resolutions and Decisions which have been issued in order to give effect to the often general provisions of these laws and with which they need to comply.  This article now considers some of these resolutions and decisions in more detail.

Laws and Regulations (as amended)

Ministerial Decision No.(8) of 2005 regulates the recruitment of expatriate employees from outside Qatar and specifically states that employees may not be charged for recruitment expenses, fees or other costs. In addition, an employee must be repatriated at the recruiter's cost if he is unfit or unable to work amongst other things. 

Ministerial Resolution No.(6) of 2005 regulates shift work whilst Ministerial Decision No.(10) and No.(11) of 2005 restricts the activities for which work can be undertaken without rest and the maximum number of working hours, respectively.

Ministerial Resolution No.(12) of 2005 sets out the areas which at that time were designated "remote" and where appropriate means of transport, accommodation, potable water, food or the means to obtain food and medical provisions must be made available to employees.

Ministerial Decision No.(17) of 2005 sets out in detail the requirements for employees accommodation, including the area to which each employee should have access, bedding allocation, the number of employees who may share a bathroom, utilities and rubbish disposal.

In addition to existing laws and regulations, where matters of concern are highlighted new laws and regulations are issued to develop the legal framework in this regard.  Two such recent examples include:

The Labour Law: In November 2015, the Qatari government via an amendment to Article 66 of the Labour Law introduced the mandatory wages protection system ("WPS") designed to ensure the timely and efficient payment of salaries to all workers in Qatar. Under WPS, all employers are obliged to transfer electronically from their Qatari bank accounts the salaries of their workers in local currency into the workers' personal back accounts in Qatar. Breach of WPS carries both civil and criminal penalties.

The Immigration Law: In December 2016, the Qatari government will introduce the new Immigration Law which it is expected will have a major impact on the operation of the sponsorship system in Qatar; and, in effect make it easier for workers to leave Qatar and transfer their sponsorship within Qatar.

Practical implementation

The Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs is the main Government agency seeking to enforce the provisions of the Qatar laws and regulations pertaining to employment. In addition, many Government and quasi-Government entities now require undertakings with respect to compliance within the various contracting and sub-contracting tiers within tender submissions and transparency with respect to such compliance during the period for which work is being undertaken; internal auditors are being recruited in order to assist in monitoring such compliance.

Note: Qatari Laws (saved for those issued by the Qatar Financial Centre ("QFC") to regulate its internal business) are issued in Arabic and there are no official translations. Therefore, for the purpose of drafting this article, we have used our own translations and interpreted the same in the context of Qatari laws, regulations and current practice.

Migrant Welfare Protection

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.