Qatar ministry rolls out automated multi-lingual complaint service

MOLSA complaint machine

MOLSA/Twitter

To make it easier for Qatar’s blue-collar workers to lodge complaints with labor officials, the government has introduced new machines that accept grievances in seven languages.

The kiosks, which are set up across six Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs branches, support Arabic, English, Nepalese, Hindi, Bengali, Urdu and Tamil.

According to QNA:

“The new devices aim to remove communications barriers created by many workers’ lack of knowledge of Arabic and English. The move will enable workers from different countries to seek redress of work-related problems.”

To file a complaint, workers fill out a form in the language of their choice. The forms can then be printed out so that the employee can submit the complaint to the relevant labor department.

Speaking to Doha News, a MOLSA representative said the next step after submitting the complaint is for the labor relations department to help resolve the dispute “amicably.”

Improving conditions

On Twitter, the ministry said the new machines were part of ongoing efforts to protect labor rights in Qatar.

For the past few months, the government has been talking about a number of reforms to the country’s restrictive kafala sponsorship system. For example, in May, authorities pledged to amend the labor law to make it easier for expats to switch jobs and leave the country.

New efforts are also underway to mandate direct deposit bank payments to blue-collar workers to ensure timely wage delivery, and to increase the accountability of manpower agencies – which often charge exorbitant recruitment fees to vulnerable expats.

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