Plan sprouts from the current Qatar National Development Strategy covering 2011 to 2016 which stated that Qatar will consider granting permanent residency to expats who meet certain criteria.
This change is part of the strategy to bring in and retain professionals and skilled workers, according to officials in Doha.
The Peninsula, a local daily in Qatar, reported that the nation’s government is putting a recruiting program in place aimed at expats. This program includes retention and will also see the sponsorship system in Qatar reviewed and revised.
Qatar’s system has been soaked in controversy and puts the residency and work of each employee, as well as their travel in and out of the nation, in the hands of the Gulf employer. A number of local human rights organizations, as well as international groups, have been demanding that the system be cancelled. One former minister of labour from Bahrain compared the system to contemporary slavery.
The National Development Strategy in Qatar stated that, as it stands, the sponsorship system is having an effect on the labour market of the nation.
The document notes that rigidity in the labour market is hampering the development of a labour force appropriate for a knowledge-based economy. As Qatar diversifies its economy a more highly skilled workforce is required.
A tribunal aimed at the resolution of labour disputes will also be set up in Qatar.Paul Holdsworth, Staff Writer, Gulf Jobs Market News