Qatar is set to become the first country in the GCC region to introduce a minimum wage law, one of several labour reform measures that it has agreed to adopt to potentially avoid a formal inquiry by the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

The Qatari government has also agreed to allow trained inspectors to monitor labour practices in the country.

According to Issa Saad Al Jafali al-Nuaimi, Qatar’s minister of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs, Qatar has also signed bilateral agreements with 36 countries, from which it draws the majority of its more than 2 million migrant workforce, to provide legal protection for workers.

No further details, however, have been provided in terms of when the minimum wage law will be implemented and what job classifications will be included in its scope.

Other measures that have previously been proposed include the lifting of restrictions that prevent migrant workers from changing employers or leaving the country without their employers’ permission.

Qatar has been facing major criticisms on the treatment of its foreign workers since it began major construction projects a few years ago in line with its hosting of the 2022 Fifa World Cup.

ILO has been holding a conference in Geneva since 26 October. MEED understands Qatar’s labour practices were to be discussed before the event concludes on 9 November.