Qatar’s troubles implementing its scheduled WPS.
Qatar’s businesses especially its construction and contracting companies segment were told that the WPS (Wage Protection System) launch due in on 18 August 2015 was to be postponed to 2nd November.
The WPS is a mandatory online workers’ wage payment system being launched by the government for the country’s private sector companies. It has suddenly been put off as most companies were apparently not ready for it. The implementation of the WPS has been planned to be phased over the short term and that larger companies from the construction and contracting sector are part of its launch in the first phase. Smaller companies will join in later. As a matter of fact, discussions regarding company classification and the WPS with the concerned authorities were concluded last February.
Banks, naturally happy that the WPS requirement would add to their non-negligible revenue and income confirmed their readiness will now have to ponder for another couple of months. “So we were all set for a go. We were ready” a banker said as he understood there are to be phases of WPS implementation in a way that first bigger construction and contracting companies are to be included and then companies from all other sectors, and later on, mid-segment firms followed by smaller companies, including retail stores, amongst other businesses.
Would this WPS measures compute to another layer of costs; one wonders at a time when crashing oil prices are making large numbers of expatriate employers and employees nervous in a background of project cancellations and energy companies’ proposals for job cuts.
Although Qatar is by any mean an exception, layoffs and worries resulting from sliding global crude prices are being witnessed across the Gulf.
Oil companies in the region are taking steps to cushion the impact of falling prices with steps like downsizing and cancellation of projects. The fresh round of cuts comes as Qatar Petroleum (QP) had announced a few months ago that its subsidiaries too were summoned and would be looking not at downsizing but rather at ‘right sizing’.