The Ministry of Administrative Development Labour and Social Affairs (MADLSA) said yesterday that, as per the policies of the Ministry, workers in quarantine and isolation will be paid full salary without any deduction and it is mandatory for employers and companies to follow the policies. The Ministry also announced the launch of a new hotline service on 92727 for receiving grievances of workers.
“The companies are responding fully because they know that the workers were put in quarantine as a precautionary measure to protect all of us,” said Muhammed Hassan Al Obaidly, Assistant Undersecretary for Labour Affairs at MADLSA, addressing a press conference held at the headquarters of the Ministry. He briefed the media about the procedures taken by the MADLSA to curb the spread of COVID-19.
He said that as much as QR3bn have been earmarked to pay the salaries of workers and rents of the employers which could be utilised through banks to pay the wages of labourers and paying the rent due on companies.
“The employers and companies especially SMEs can approach their banks which will ask them to follow certain procedures to disburse the loans for the payments of salaries and rent to cope with the problem. The banks might not give cash but would transfer the amount to accounts of workers and landlords,” said Al Obaidly.
Regarding the payment those workforces who are stuck outside, Al Obaidly said it is considered extended unpaid leave because they are not serving the companies.
Providing details about the new hotline service, he said that workers also can send a text message with their QID number or visa number if QID number is not available or has expired, to avail the service.
“The new service is launched to communicate with labourers to address their problems in their languages,” said Al Obaidly.
He said that MADLSA has coordinated with the Ministry of Interior regarding the renewal of the residency permit of workforce which expired as they are outside of the country and are unable to return.
“The Residency Permits (RPs) of such workforce will be renewed automatically and they will be able to come to Qatar when the crisis ends, without any fine,” said Al Obaidly.
Al Obaidly said that such a workforce will be sent back to their home country under proper procedures including provision of tickets.
“Some countries have closed their airports and in such cases, the workers will remain in Qatar with proper lodging and food. The coordination will be made with workforce exporting countries. An appropriate mechanism will be set on how to repatriate these workers to ensure they do not remain stranded,” said Al Obaidly.
“The online remittance was introduced as a substitute for exchange houses. Online remittance can be done through all banks, mobile app of exchange houses and Ooreedoo remittance service. The Ministry has sent text message to all companies making it mandatory to educate workers about online remittance services,” said Al Obaidly.
“We are working 24-hours through department concerned for wage protection system to monitor the companies on daily basis, checking the transactions, sending messages directly to the companies who are found delaying the payments,” said Al Obaidly.
“We will communicate with the workers in his language and will take the statement to address the issue. They do not need to come to the services centre of the Ministry,” said Al Obaidly.
“I would like to assure you that so far there is no big problem in this regards because of coronavirus. It is normal,” said Al Obaildly. Al Obaidly said that their status remains same and such workers are entitled to receive all medical services free of costs like other legal workers including medical checkups for coronavirus and quarantine services.
He said that teams from the ministries concerned and other agencies are working to provide basic needs, services and other necessary support to residents of these areas.