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Monday, March 8, 2021

Report: Qatar labor ministry mulls setting retirement age for expats

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Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Qatar is considering setting a mandatory retirement age of 60 years old for expat workers in the country, Al Watan reports.

The new age cap proposal is being mulled by Qatar’s Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs.

It comes on the heels of complaints from new university graduates that finding jobs in Qatar has been difficult.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

According to Al Watan, requiring residents to leave Qatar after a certain age may help “open the door to fresh and young talent to work on development projects,” in line with the nation’s 2030 Vision.

However, the feasibility of replacing experienced workers with untested ones remains unclear.

Currently, Human Resources Law No. 8 of 2009 states that the retirement age for most Qataris in public sector jobs is 60 years old, though this can be extended.

However, there is no such limit in the private sector. That said, it is difficult for older expats to change sponsors as they grow older.

Age caps

The age cap discussion is one that has been raised in other Gulf countries as well, including in Saudi Arabia in 2013.

At the time, the government was trying to brainstorm ways of tackling youth unemployment. But the controversial proposal to put an age cap on expat workers never passed.

Meanwhile, Qatar’s labor ministry has recently started taking a closer look at “expats who entered the country to work in different development projects (but) did not leave the country” even after their work was done, the Qatar Tribune reports.

The ministry was not immediately available for comment.

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