In 2015 Qatar Government introduced a new system called the Wages Protection System (WPS) which ensures that all private companies pay their employees the agreed salaries, regularly on time.
This article explains how the WPS works and how employers can implement it for paying their employees.
What is WPS Qatar?
Wages Protection System (WPS) is a comprehensive electronic system initiated by Qatar’s Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour & Social Affairs (MADLSA) and Qatar Central Bank (QCB). The system monitors and documents the process of worker salary payments.
Under WPS, salary files will be processed through the WPS account to credit all salaries to the bank accounts/pay cards of the employees.
What type of business is covered under the WPS system?
The WPS system will apply to all private companies – as all of them are covered by the Labour Law No. (14) of 2004.
Embassies, QFC entities, Government and Public sector organisations are not included under this system (Note: Exceptions need to be validated by MOLSA)
How does the WPS system work?
Here is a step-by-step guide on how the system works :
Open bank accounts for all employees
- Qatar Central Bank has issued circulars to all banks and financial institutions in the country to open accounts for workers who have a valid ID card.
- Register a new WPS account with a local bank. Enrolment Form will be available online or at the bank. Submit the form with a copy of the company registration and computer card.
Company prepares employees’ data
- Companies will have to make CSV files to save data in a table-structured format. This is also called SIF (Salary Information File).
- The tables will carry workers’ names, QID, account numbers (IBAN), and payable salaries in serial numbers. Check with your bank for the exact format.
- Some banks have online tools called SIF (Salary Information File) Generators which can be used to prepare this document.
- CSV files can also be prepared in Microsoft Excel. After saving the Excel file for future editing, save a copy as Comma Separated Values (.csv).
- Name the CSV file as per the standard format and share it with the bank through the bank portal or whatever other format agreed with the bank.
Company transfers salary
- A company will transfer the salaries of its WPS-beneficiary workers to its bank before the due date.
Bank checks balance and transfers to workers’ accounts
- The bank which will check data and whether the firm has sufficient balance in its account.
- If the balance is sufficient, the bank will credit salaries to workers’ accounts and they will be notified.
- If the balance is not sufficient, the bank would get back to the company.
Monitoring by Ministries
All banks in Qatar have automated systems to transfer worker wages under the WPS. This automated system is in such a way that the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour & Social Affairs (MADLSA) and the Ministry of Interior would be able to actively monitor and ensure that all WPS-beneficiary workers are paid salaries.
The ministries would simply insert a ‘Card Number’ of a company in their computer systems and immediately the screen would show the number of workers in its employ, their salaries and whether or not they have been paid.
The labour ministry has a dedicated inspection unit only to keep a tab on companies and ensure they comply with the WPS. Inspectors, rigorously trained in their job, would catch violations if any, and take the violating company to task.
- All companies must pay their workers through the WPS within seven days of the due date.
- Delays will be punished and reconciliation would be possible only if a complainant (worker) takes his complaint of delayed payment back.
- Non-compliers can even be prosecuted, as per the amendment to the labour law.
Who is responsible for an employee’s WPS?
All companies must register their employees with WPS. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure all personnel information is correct, particularly salary details.
There will be no grace period for new joiners, however, one month is given to arrange the visa and bank account for each employee. It is the duty of the employer to open a bank account for its employees.
Punishments for non-compliance of WPS
Companies’ failure to abide by the rule would make them liable to punishment, including denial of work visas and refusal to endorse workers’ job contracts.
Companies may face fines of up to QAR 6,000 per infringement, and company managers could face imprisonment if the system is not implemented as per the regulations.
Failure to comply or submission of incorrect filings could lead to company visa restrictions, visa quotas being reduced or blocked and the company being banned from future hiring. The procedure to address any contraventions will require visits to the MADLSA and proof that the WPS has been applied effectively and correctly.
WPS Pages of Major Banks in Qatar
Ahlibank WPS Page
Barwa Bank WPS Page
Commercial Bank of Qatar CBQ WPS Page
Doha Bank WPS Page
Qatar Islamic Bank – QIB WPS Page
Qatar International Islamic Bank – QIIB WPS Page
Qatar National Bank – QNB WPS Page
FAQ on Qatar’s WPS
What is WPS in Qatar?
WPS is a fully integrated and centralized solution for collecting, storing and providing the data about payments of employee wages made through bank transfers (No cash, no standing orders, no cheques or draft) only.
Is WPS Mandatory?
WPS registration is mandatory for all companies. (Embassies, QFC entities, Government and Public sector organisations are exempt)
Can we register for WPS in more than one bank?
Yes, you can register for WPS in multiple banks, provided you process your employee salaries in more than one bank.
Should the final settlement be through WPS?
Yes. It will ensure that settlements are cleared and the Ministry will not expect the relieved employee’s salary the next month.