Qatar’s new Wage Protection System is a robust step towards prevention of worker exploitation in the Gulf nation. The WPS is a technology enhanced system that ensures transparency and eliminates corruption in private sector jobs. It is a product of extensive groundwork and a direct response to rampant cases of employee abuse in the private sector.
Usually, the private sector employs workers, especially economic immigrants, who end up filing lawsuits against employers causing an international uproar against work conditions and labour in Qatar. In response, the government of Qatar took responsibility and implemented WPS as a comprehensive monitoring system, which analyses and records all monetary transactions between the employer and employees to take action against exploiters.
• Government: the government represented by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs monitors the whole wage processing system. It ensures that employees are paid on specified time.
• Employer: the employer is the company who has the obligation to pay the employee each month or week as agreed. The company must ensure that all workers are registered and paid fully according to the WPS.
• Employee: Employee needs to make sure that they have proper bank accounts, valid visa and work permits. Moreover, they need to ensure that their employer has registered them with the WPS to prevent any pay disputes in future.
• The Qatar Central Bank: the Qatar central bank receives money from the employer and transfers it to the employee’s bank. The bank is required to report to the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs in the case of non-compliance and violation of the WPS rules.
The payment cycle using the WPS
The WPS Qatar uses, at least, four facilities, the central bank, the online cloud, the employer bank, and the employee bank. Companies are first required to submit employee information using the accepted standard to initiate payments through the WPS system. At least seven days before the actual payday employer is expected to initiate the payment process- by either depositing enough funds into his bank or order the bank to send an SIF file. When SIF file reaches the central bank, all details are meticulously checked for discrepancies. The SIF file has to be in the standard format, otherwise, it gets rejected.
The central bank must have sufficed details of pay date and salary of the employee to assists the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (MOLSA). The central bank is also liable for providing details to juries upon request in cases where it is deemed necessary. After the clearance and analysis of the funds by checking the time of payments and whether the agreed upon wage is paid, the central bank sends the total amount to the employee bank. In case, the employee has not registered or does not have a bank account he shall be responsible for taking the money from the central bank.