Shura Council Discusses 'Labour Market' Issues

13 March 2023

The Shura Council held its regular weekly meeting on Monday at Tamim bin Hamad Hall under the chairmanship of HE Speaker of the Shura Council Hassan bin Abdullah Al Ghanim.

In presence of HE Minister of Labour Dr. Ali bin Samikh Al Marri, the Shura Council discussed the Ministry of Labour's efforts in the Qatarization of jobs in private sector, qualifying national workforce, regulating labor recruitment offices and the progress made in developing the Ministry's electronic services and digital transformation towards simplifying and facilitating procedures for citizens and companies.

HE the Speaker of the Shura Council and their Excellencies the members welcomed HE the Minister of Labor, praising the efforts made by the Ministry to improve the services it provides with the aim of developing the labour market, qualifying national cadres, and realizing partnership between the public and private sectors.

In his presentation to the members of the Shura Council, HE Dr. Ali bin Samikh Al Marri confirmed that hiring Qataris in the private sector during the past year increased by about five folds, to reach 1,850 employees, while the number of establishments that cooperated with the Qatarization program reached 331 in various sectors.

His Excellency explained that the Ministry of Labour is implementing 6 effective initiatives within the Qatarization program in the private sector, pointing out that these initiatives took into account various aspects of creating jobs and training programs for citizens and strengthening communication with private sector establishments, in order to realize the desired goals.

He pointed out that the draft law on Qatarization of jobs in the private sector, which was approved "in principle" by the cabinet in February, addresses many of the challenges facing the Ministry of Labour in increasing the rates of hiring Qataris in the sector.

He explained that the draft law gives the Ministry of Labour more flexibility in the field of attracting and motivating Qataris, and hiring them in the private sector, and also created legal frameworks to encourage companies to hire citizens.

His Excellency also explained that the draft law granted the Minister of Labour regulatory powers to implement the law by setting conditions, incentives, facilities and privileges, setting conditions and controls for training Qatari students, and approving scholarship policies in coordination with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education.

HE the Minister stressed that under the new draft law, a set of penalties will be imposed on violating establishments, as the Ministry of Labor has the right to issue warnings, as well as sanctioning and fining violating companies.

HE Dr. Ali bin Samikh Al Marri added that the work environment requires offering some incentives, facilities and privileges to increase the attraction of Qataris in the private sector.

His Excellency indicated, during the presentation, that the Ministry is working on the axis of attracting and classifying expatriate workers, which contributes to increasing productivity in the work environment, through vital initiatives that work to provide classification methods for workers, the extent of their skills and the need of the local market for them.

He explained that organizing expatriate workforce in the local market will have a fundamental role in benefiting from the existing labor skills, in addition to increasing the rates of attracting skilled workers.

His Excellency stressed that these measures will work to reduce the percentage of non-skilled workers, and replace them with skilled workers that benefit employers and increase the productive capacity of the private sector.

He revealed that the ministry is working on implementing 7 initiatives in the field of attracting and classifying expatriate workers, including the launch of the Qatari guide for classifying occupations, the labor rotation program, a "program specialized in talent visas", and the provision of different types of work permits based on the workers' skill levels.

His Excellency also said that the ministry is in the process of establishing a national center for accreditation and testing of professions and skills for expatriate workers with the aim of raising production efficiency and reducing costs in state projects.

On another issue, HE Minister of Labor Dr. Ali bin Samikh Al Marri said that among the main priorities of the ministry in the current period is to develop the policies and procedures of labor recruitment offices, by finding solutions to the most important challenges facing the ministry's teams in implementing the development and modernization policy for the recruitment offices sector.

His Excellency pointed out that the Ministry implemented during the last period a series of actual measures to improve the work environment and preserve the rights of employers, indicating that it was decided to extend the probation period for domestic workers from three to nine months, and set the maximum prices for the recruitment of domestic workers to prevent exaggeration in prices and studying the application of insurance for domestic workers.

His Excellency pointed out that the Ministry of Labor carried out inspection campaigns on recruitment offices and places that might employ runaway workers, indicating that the licenses of 54 recruitment offices were revoked, as part of its ongoing inspection campaigns to ensure the application of the law and ministerial decisions.

Regarding the digital transformation program, His Excellency explained that the program constituted a qualitative leap in the speed of development, launch and delivery of high-quality services to the public, indicating that it mainly contributed to reducing the time for completing transactions, in addition to establishing an effective information link with some government agencies related to the work of the ministry.

His Excellency the Minister of Labor confirmed that the total number of services that have been offered since the launch of the Digital Transformation Unit last May amounted to about 30 electronic services, highlighting the Ministry's preparedness during the coming period to launch a package of new services of interest to a large segment of the public.

Their Excellencies members of the Shura Council appreciated the role of the Ministry of Labor, stressing their keenness to support the Ministry in its efforts to improve the reality of the labor market. They focused on the role of the private sector in absorbing national cadres, and the need to reorganize recruitment offices, in a way that guarantees the rights of all parties, noting the developments in laws and legislation related to this aspect.

Their Excellencies also highlighted the role of the private sector in supporting national efforts in development, and the role of partnership between the public and private sectors in absorbing national competencies and cadres, and qualifying them for the labor market.

The members of the Shura Council drew attention to the complaints related to some of these offices violating the requirements and laws of the Ministry of Labor, pointing out the importance of intensifying monitoring and auditing of them.

Their Excellencies demanded that private sector companies, particularly large and semi-governmental companies, attract retired citizens to fill the needs and job vacancies and hire people with disabilities in the private sector, in light of their functional skills and capabilities.

Their Excellencies members of the Shura Council called on the Ministry of Labor to strengthen its efforts to set regulatory controls and regulations, and to take the necessary measures to reduce runaway laborers because of the material, social and cultural damage it causes in society.

In another context, members of the Shura Council touched on the developments taking place in the country regarding the digitization of services provided to the public, pointing out that the Ministry of Labor is one of the bodies to which the interests of a large segment of citizens and residents are linked.

In this regard, they indicated the need to take the necessary measures to enhance the Ministry's services, provide them electronically, reduce the necessary steps to complete them, and spare auditors visiting the Ministry's building to complete them, by taking advantage of the country's advanced digital infrastructure.