DOHA: A debate is raging on Qatari social networking sites over whether housemaids, construction workers and private sector expatriate employees in middle-income and higher salary brackets be paid more or not. Many writing on the sites say that maids and low-income construction workers be paid more as nationals employed in the government sector have got massive salary raise recently.
“We must show mercy to these workers,” commented a national with several others agreeing with him. But a number of people seem to be against expatriate employees of the private sector being given a pay raise.
“It is not a good idea to raise the salary of expatriates who are drawing salaries like QR250,000 a month and enjoying privileges like free education for their children, air tickets, health insurance and free club memberships,” wrote one commentator. Only those expatriates who are being paid between QR4,000 and QR8,000 a month should be given a salary hike, said another commentator”. While yet another national writing on a site said that expatriates being paid more than QR20,000 should at no cost be given a pay raise.
There was at least one commentator who was in favor of giving salary hike to expatriate employees who are born in Doha and yet have to pay water and electricity bills as well as house rents. The commentator meant to suggest that while nationals are entitled to some benefits like free power and water, those expatriates who are born in Qatar and employed should at least be given salary hike. Some suggested that foreign workers should not be given salary increment at all because they save 60 percent of their salary.
Meanwhile, government departments have started informing their Qatari employees about the salary increase through SMS. With the recent salary raise in the government sector, the basic salary of undersecretaries and assistant undersecretaries has increased from QR37,000 to a whopping QR59,200 and from QR28,000 to QR44,800, respectively.
Accordingly, ‘grade one’ government employees will now be drawing QR27,000 basic salary after the increment. The earlier scale was QR17,000. So the raise they have got is massive. This is aside from the raise in social allowances the employees are entitled to, a local Arabic daily reported yesterday.
Grade two and three state employees will be getting QR24,800 and QR19,000, respectively. Before the increment they were paid QR13,000 and QR12,000.
The basic salary of grade four and five state employees has increased to QR16,000 and QR14,400, respectively.
However, employees from grade six to 13 will get a basic salary of QR12,800, QR9,600, QR8,800, QR7,200, QR5,600, QR4,800, QR4,000 and QR3,520, respectively. The social allowances of all beneficiaries up to seventh grade has been increased from QR4,000 to QR6,400 for married employees and from QR2,500 to QR4,000 for the single staff.
However, the married beneficiaries grade sixth and below will get QR4,000 and single one will get QR2,560, said a local Arabic daily. The employees who are beneficiaries of the recent salary hike are from the various ministries, HMC, Ashghal, Qatar Museums Authority, Qatar Radio and Television, General Postal Corporation, Qatar Civil Aviation College, Qatar News Agency, Administrative Development Institute, Minor Affairs Authority, Pension and Retirement Authority, Kahramaa and Qatar University, among others.