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AFP
Doha
Qatar has set a temporary minimum wage for migrant workers worth around $200 a month, Minister of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs HE Dr Issa bin Saad al Jafali al Nuaimi said on Thursday.
"Temporary minimum wage of QR750 ($195, 166 euro) per month will immediately come into effect," Nuaimi told AFP.
The minister said officials are working on setting a permanent rate.
In addition to the new salary, labourers will receive free accommodation, food and healthcare plans, covered by employers, he said.
Introducing a minimum wage was among a package of major labour changes announced last month by Qatar.
Officials said the QR750 figure could increase after a review.
"We will not approve any employment contract if the salary is below QR750 per month. All contracts must now be approved by the ministry (of labour)," Nuaimi said.
"If any change is made to the contract, we will apply the new procedures," he said, adding that the new wage limit had been enforced for the past month.
Qatar has been spending $500 million a week on the projects for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Among other key reforms on the books are a requirement to lodge job contracts with the government, preventing changes to contract terms after the arrival of workers in Qatar, and ending the right of employers to stop staff from leaving the country or changing jobs.
Unions and rights groups have also backed the changes.
Nuaimi said,"Qatar's pledge does not end here. This is a long-term commitment and we will make further improvements."
He added that migrant workers were"part and parcel" of Qatar.
"All these are not promises but real facts because we are convinced that is what we should implement. It's not just promises."
Mustafa Qadri, executive director of Equidem, a human rights research organisation, called the minimum wage"an important step".
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17/11/2017
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