A senior governmental body in Qatar met on Monday and voted against ratifying proposed changes to the country’s much criticised labour laws.
The Advisory Council, which can approve legislation that must be signed off by the emir, agreed to send proposed reforms of employment law back to a committee for further review, the state news agency QNA reported, rather than approve them.
Doha has come under severe pressure to change its controversial kafala sponsorship system of employment, which restricts the rights and freedoms of foreign workers. The wealthy Gulf state, which is due to host the FIFA World Cup in 2022, has been criticised by rights groups for failing to provide adequate working conditions for those constructing football stadia.
New employment legislation was supposed to make it easier for foreign workers to change their jobs and gain entry and exit visas, however, local media reported that the Advisory Council has gone against this and proposed giving employers more control over their staff.
“If an expatriate worker deliberately creates problems for the employer and does not comply with the contract to force the latter to end the contract or transfer his sponsorship to another employer, he should not be allowed to change jobs even if he runs away,” the committee recommended, according to Peninsula news site.
In other words, the World Cup should clearly stay in this workers’ paradise.