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Qatar – Illegal recruiters facing stiffer penalties

24 March 2014

Companies and individuals sheltering or employing runaway/illegal workers will be blacklisted and banned from future recruitment for at least two years, the Ministry of Interior announced, reports thepeninsulaqatar.com.

Those who outsource their employees without the required legal contracts will face recruitment ban for a period of one year. The new rules have been issued as executive regulations for Law No. 4/2009 that regulates the entry, exit, residence, and sponsorship of foreign workers and will come into force on 1 May 2014.

Those violating these rules will also face heavy fines as stipulated by the law. The Ministry said that stricter regulations have been imposed because many people continue to violate the law despite the penalties.

If the violation (sheltering or employing illegal workers) is committed by a company or establishment, it will be banned from recruiting any employee for two years but if it is by an individual, the ban will be confined to him alone, not to his company/companies.

If there is a court verdict saying that a person or company has employed absconding workers or those who are not under their sponsorship, they will face a recruitment ban of two years and fine, as specified by the law.

The penalties include imprisonment not exceeding three years and/or a fine of not more than QAR 50,000 (USD 13,720) and in case of a repetition, imprisonment for a period not less than 15 days, and not exceeding three years and a fine of not less than QAR 20,000 (USD 5,488) and not more than QAR 100,000 (USD 27,440).

“To end the trend of absconding, the Ministry is taking steps against those who shelter them illegally; as well, the Search and Follow up Department is carrying out drives throughout the year to hold the violators and those who employ them illegally” Brigadier Nasser Mohammed Eissa Al Sayed, Director Search and Follow Up Department (SFD) said in statement. 

He added that those arrested reported that there are some businesses intentionally working to shelter and employ people illegally with higher perks and benefits in order to avoid recruitment and training expenses. 

“We cannot ignore that the employers are paying huge amounts to recruitment offices and spends money to qualify and train workers providing them the necessary expertise. At the same time, some are instigating such workers to flee from their sponsors and then offer them special salaries and privileges in violation of the law. This creates problems to the sponsor who has recruited them and he ends up incurring losses,” Brig. Al Sayed added.

He said that companies are allowed to lend or hire employees as per the law. For instance, if a company has excess employees who have no work at present, they can lend them to others based on a legal contract. But if a court finds that this was done without a legal basis, the violating company will face a recruitment ban for one year.

Brig. Al Sayed said that the real objective of the rules is to maintain the rights of both the employers and employees forcing both parties to abide by the law. He noted that absconding cases as well as complaints about them have declined recently as result of the intensive inspection campaigns and the SFD is striving its best to end this practice totally. 

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