Discontent in Qatar over salary discrimination

May 25, 2011
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The discrimination in salaries between Western and Asian expatriates is causing discontent among the Asian workforce in Qatar, human resources officials have said.

“We have lost some good workers just because of this discrimination,” a company representative said. “There cannot be any justification for giving two persons the same position, but different salaries,” he said at an interactive session organised by bayt.com, MENA’s number one job site.

His comment was supported by a Qatari HR official.

“The public sector can afford to pay more money and can hire people of different nationalities with varying pay structures,” he said.

“But a private company cannot. At the end of the day what matters for us is profit. We cannot hire a European accountant for a monthly salary of 20,000 riyals ($5,500) when we can get an Asian accountant for 5,000 riyals ($1,370),” the unidentified representative said, quoted by Qatar Tribune.

The representative of another local company said that “while there was enough justification for having two salary structures, one for Qatari workers and the other for non-Qataris, there was no justification whatsoever for discrimination among non-Qataris in terms of salary packages”.

However, the concept of different salary structures for different nationalities was accepted by other representatives.

Cost of living in Europe

“We have to understand that the cost of living is higher in Europe than in Asia and, therefore, a European expatriate’s expectation in terms of salary is higher than that of an Asian expatriate. Hence, we cannot have the same salary structure for both,” one representative was quoted as saying by the daily.

Amer Zuraikat, sales vice-president of bayt.com, said that “68 per cent of employees in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) care only about their salaries rather than work environment or job satisfaction.”

“Eighty-five percent of the working population was ready to switch their career because of the rising cost of living,” he said, quoting a recent survey on salaries.

http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/qatar/discontent-in-qatar-over-salary-discrimination-1.812640

         

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About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Career
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
Education
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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