A platform to facilitate local recruitment has been launched by the Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry. This platform will allow businesses to register their redundant staff and to recruit for job openings they may have.
From the registration form uploaded to their website, it appears that only companies, and not individual job seekers, will be allowed to register on the platform. Even workers employed for less than a year (a regular contract term is two years) can be registered for re-employment.
The platform seems to fill a critical need for both businesses and foreign workers who have been made redundant. However, it does not yet address the needs of those who may want to change jobs for better prospects.
Trade in work visas remains rife in Qatar, with individuals paying upwards of a month’s salary to both their new and old employers. Some workers Migrant-Rights.org spoke to said they were given an offer letter, and on payment of a ‘commission’ received the contract and no objection certificate from their employers to transfer their visa.
The Ministry of Administrative, Labour and Social Affairs has warned people against “dealing with non-official entities tempting people for job opportunities or inviting them to participate in providing social services.”
The warning does not cover the depth of the problem, where it is not third parties who charge these fees but employers themselves.
Qatar has for long promised the abolition of no objection certificates that would create a free labour market for those already in the country on a work visa. Past announcements of reforms have been incremental but have stopped well short of total abolishment.