Qatari government entities must cut foreign staff costs by 30%

Qatar has directed ministries and all other government and public entities to reduce costs for non-Qatari employees by 30% as of June 1. (File/AFP)
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Updated 11 June 2020

Qatari government entities must cut foreign staff costs by 30%

  • Non-Qatari government employees would be given a two-month grace period if they were terminated
  • Expatriates make up the majority of Qatar’s population

DUBAI: Qatar has directed ministries and all other government and public entities to reduce costs for non-Qatari employees by 30 percent as of June 1, either via pay cuts or lay-offs, a finance ministry document seen by Reuters showed.
The document also outlined other cuts affecting Qatari employees, including to benefits, which come as the world’s top liquefied natural gas exporter feels the bite of a global coronavirus downturn that has sapped energy demand.
Expatriates make up the majority of many Gulf states’ populations, including in tiny Qatar, where the workforce of everything from its banks to airlines are filled out by foreign nationals.
Qatar has been pushing to nationalize much of its labor force, a task complicated by a national population of just roughly 300,000.
The government did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Non-Qatari government employees would be given a two-month grace period if they were terminated, the document said.
For Qatari employees, cash allowances in lieu of holidays would cease, as would advance payments except for marriages, the document said.
The ministry also said the office of the prime minister must be notified if a government entity wished to retain an employee after they reach the age of 60.
As of June 11, Qatar had registered a total of 75,071 coronavirus cases.


UK govt: British women strip-searched in Qatar

Updated 29 October 2020

UK govt: British women strip-searched in Qatar

  • London describes incident as ‘unacceptable’
  • Strip-search took place in Doha airport

LONDON: British authorities have formally registered concerns with Qatar following reports that two women who are UK nationals were strip-searched in Doha.

The forced medical examinations were carried out in Doha airport after authorities discovered a newborn baby in a bin.

This, it is claimed, prompted them to conduct “urgently decided” intrusive examinations, described as “absolutely terrifying” by one of 13 Australian women on a flight to Sydney who were subjected to them.

The British women were part of a group that was forced to disembark flights before having their underwear removed for a female medical professional to carry out an examination assessing if they had recently given birth.

The complaint was registered by the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, which said in a statement: “We are providing ongoing support to two British women following an incident in Doha. We have formally expressed our concern with the Qatari authorities and Qatar Airways and are seeking assurances an unacceptable incident like this cannot happen again.”

Australian officials said passengers from 10 flights leaving Doha on Oct. 2 were subjected to the ordeal.

“The advice that has been provided indicates that the treatment of the women concerned was offensive, grossly inappropriate, and beyond circumstances in which the women could give free and informed consent,” said a spokeswoman for the office of Australia’s foreign minister.

Sources familiar with the incident have said the newborn is alive and in care, and the mother has not been identified.

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