Qatar’s labor ministry has named and shamed two local recruitment agencies that have been closed for flouting the rules on hiring overseas workers.
The companies, Al-Fadeela and Al-Wafa, have had their operating licenses permanently revoked, the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labor & Social Affairs (MADSLA) said on QNA.
According to the ministry, the agencies “violated the fourth paragraph of Article (14) of the Ministerial Decree No. (8) of 2005 regulating the conditions and procedures for licensing recruiting workers from abroad for others.”
The two firms were previously warned to adhere to the agreements they signed with employers to recruit domestic workers.
However, they refused to comply, the ministry said in a statement.
Anyone who did business with the companies should have their contracts checked with the labor ministry’s recruitment department.
And financial claims against the two agencies should be reported to the ministry within three months, the Peninsula added.
‘Name and shame’
Qatar’s labor ministry conducts periodic spot-checks on agencies to ensure they are complying with local laws.
With the approval of the minister, authorities can revoke licenses for firms that are serial offenders.
Back in mid-2014, the labor ministry said it would start naming and shaming recruitment firms that repeatedly flout the law.
However, this appears to be one of the first times it’s actually done this.
Last October, the ministry announced some 15 recruitment agencies had been shut down for failing to improve, despite repeated warnings.
The firms were not named. Their licenses were cancelled for reasons including multiple complaints filed against them, violation of the state’s labor law and failure to correct mistakes after being issued with an official warning, the ministry’s recruitment manager Fawaz Mohamed Nasser Al Rayes said at the time.
Meanwhile, last summer, a ministry official said that more than 800 companies in Qatar had been temporarily blacklisted and were banned from applying for government contracts or requesting warehouse units as punishment for breaching the labor law.
Such a ban is generally lifted once an offending company complies with the law.
Recruitment firms in Qatar and those based in labor-sending countries have faced increased scrutiny in recent years, amid complaints about exorbitant fees charged to people who wish to work in Gulf countries.
While the labor law can be enforced to protect many of those workers being hired, domestic staff are exempt from this legislation.
Last week, a committee was set up to oversee the recruitment of household workers.
The panel will include representatives from the labor ministry, Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Qatar Chamber, in addition to officials from manpower agencies.
It will be tasked with speeding up the recruitment process, cutting hiring costs and increasing the notice period for new recruits, the Qatar Tribune reported.
This was in response to calls locally from employers about rising recruitment costs and short notice periods, the newspaper said.