Qatar is mulling plans to introduce a minimum wage as part of its efforts to boost productivity, according to media reports in the Gulf state.
Currently there is no mandatory minimum wage in the Gulf state, the world's biggest producer of liquefied natural gas, which is predicted to see 15 percent economic growth this year.
“We are thinking about it,” Ibrahim al-Ibrahim, economic adviser to the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, said on the sidelines of the launch of Qatar Economic Outlook 2011-12, Qatar daily Gulf Times reported.
Asked how it would be implemented, he said that the minimum wage was still in the conceptual stage.
Al-Ibrahim said that he expected some “resistance” to the idea and stressed that it would be done only after taking various stakeholders into confidence, the paper added.
He added that the minimum wage concept would be discussed with trade bodies such as the Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry at a later date because the government’s priority was health insurance for employees, which is expected to be in place in a year.
While no minimum wage exists in Qatar, a decree issued by the deputy emir last month ordered significant salary, pension and benefits increases for its state and military employees in a move that will cost QR30bn ($8.24bn).
The decree by deputy Emir and heir to the Qatari throne Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani will boost basic salaries and social benefits for state civilian employees by 60 percent.
Military staff of officer rank will receive a 120 percent increase in basic salaries and benefits. Military persons of other ranks will see a 50 percent jump in basic salaries and benefits.
A report from the Hay Group said in a report last month that on average, there is now a 98 percent pay gap between the fixed pay of Qatari nationals and non-nationals.
The decree comes as Hay Group published its annual report on compensation and benefits which analysed salary information of 41,000 employees from 117 organisations in Qatar.