WPS Frequently Asked Questions by Private Companies
What is WPS?
The WPS Qatar is a comprehensive electronic system implemented by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and QCB to ensure that workers are paid according to their employment agreement in a timely and systematic manner. The system provides an online cloud wherein employers are required to upload their as well as their employee information or CSV files. The information provided is accessible anywhere by the employee, the employer and the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs.
Does it affect me, and how?
If you operate a private company and have workers, particularly economic immigrants, you need to register your company with Wages Protection System Qatar. Such rules and regulations are put in place to curb corruption, discourage malicious intentions, and stop worker exploitation. Failure to comply with the WPS rules and regulation, employer attracts severe punishment as defined under the labor law.
When was this established?
WPS was first implemented by the UAE and later adopted by the rest of the Gulf countries. Qatar government, to comply with several UN human rights laws related to fair wages to the workers especially economic immigrants, introduced new wage protection system on 18 August 2015.
What are the necessary steps?
Firstly, register your company and the correct number of workers/employees working with you. You need to register the employee and give details of the employee on the online cloud that has been established by the Govt. All the details must be in the standards that are specified by the government. In case the employee leaves in the middle of a work agreement, the Ministry of Labour must be informed well in advance. Otherwise you have to go through the WPS cycle with no equivocations. However, you may claim your money back later on. Secondly, make sure your employees have valid working visas and bank accounts. You need to deposit the agreed upon wages and initiate transfer of money from your bank to the central bank on specified time, typically seven days before the employee pay date.
What if my company does not comply?
Non-compliance attracts penalties. Violation of the new law may lead to a jail sentence of not more than one month in prison and a fine between QR2 000 and QR 6000. Companies must ensure all workers are paid in Qatari Riyals on exactly their pay dates. The wages are to be paid monthly or annually according to the agreement.
How does it work?
Besides employer, there are three other parties involved which are The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, the employee and the central bank. The Ministry acts as a moderator, and the bank acts as a facilitator of workers’ wages by transferring from the employer’s bank to employees bank account.