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Qatar has launched a unified platform to file complaints, that includes anonymous (whistleblower) complaints as well. The platform includes employees of the private sector and those who fall under the domestic worker law as well. 

The ability to file a complaint without revealing personal information will go a long way in reporting more violations as a lot of workers fear retribution if they file a formal complaint. The whistleblower section also helps third parties who are witnesses to violations to raise them with authorities. 

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Bahrain’s Labour Market Regulatory Authority announced yesterday that it has placed a temporary ban on issuing work permits to migrant workers from Covid-19 red-list countries. The ban also applies to migrant workers who are vaccinated against Covid-19.

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After years of delay, Bahrain announces the implementation of the “Wage Protection System” in three phases starting from 1 May 2021. The WPS mandates employers to pay wages via bank transfer.

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Several Saudi ministries have made Covid-19 vaccinations mandatory for workers in certain sectors. Workers not vaccinated before specific dates must provide negative Covid-19 test results every seven days at the expense of the employer to be allowed to continue working. 

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Bahrain issued a new decision that allows foreign workers to sponsor their adult children and parents if they earn BD1000 monthly. Previously, migrants could only sponsor their spouses, children under the age of 18 & adult children studying in the country.

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Kuwait’s Public Authority for Manpower issued a new decision on 3 March 2021 that eases some restrictions on foreign employment transfers in order to address labour shortages.

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Kuwait has extended the grace period for migrants with irregular status to regularise their stay or leave Kuwait without being referred to the investigation authorities or be blacklisted from Kuwait, provided that they pay fines. The grace period was originally set to end on 31 January and will now end on 2 March 2021.

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Oman’s Labour Ministry has raised the fees for issuing and renewing work permits for migrants in mid to high-level positions, and issued two ministerial orders barring migrants from several professions.
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Kuwait announced that it will resume the recruitment of domestic workers from abroad starting from 17 January,  after a hiatus of more than 10 months due to Covid-19 pandemic.

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Bahrain’s parliament passed a bill on Tuesday that would require migrants to work for three years with their current sponsor before they can transfer to another sponsor.

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Oman extends the grace period for migrants to regularize their work status until 21 January, or leave without penalties until 31 March.
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Saudi Arabia announced the launch of a new electronic complaint service on “Musaned” for disputes between sponsors and recruitment agencies. The new service does not include domestic workers, who are most at risk of abuse.

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Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development has issued a ministerial decision to Saudize 30% of accounting professions in the private sector by 11 June 2021.

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According to local media reports, Kuwait’s Ministry of Interior has decided to only grant one-year residency permits to migrant workers and their families, instead of the two-year period which is currently in practice. 

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Kuwait’s Ministry of Interior announced that irregular migrants can regularise their status or leave Kuwait between 1 December and 31 December 2020 without being referred to the investigation authorities or be blacklisted from Kuwait, provided that they pay fines.

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Oman’s Ministry of Labour announced a one-month grace period until January 2021 for employers to correct the work status of their expatriate workers without paying fines.

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