Labour Ministry and Madar to provide specific mobile numbers for contracted expat workers
The Ministry of Labor and Rehabilitation signed an agreement with Al-Madar Al-Jadeed Mobile Phone Company in Tripoli on Thursday to create a specific mobile phone bundle, the ”Wafed” (Expatriate Package), for foreign workers.
The ministry said it is within its policy to organize and create a database of the expatriate labor market in Libya. This applies to contracted foreign workers who enter Libya officially through border crossings. It is not intended for illegal migrant workers who enter Libya by surreptitiously crossing the desert.
Based on this agreement, the Ministry of Labor explained, a foreign worker will be assigned a phone number from the package when they are registered on the “Wafed” platform and in turn they will receive their SIM card upon arrival in Libya through Madar’s Service Centers.
The agreement also stipulates that Al-Madar will assign a central contact number for inquiries, sending guidance and awareness messages to foreign workers from the time of entry in Libya, which will enable them to send requests for services and complaints.
The Ministry of Labour’s Wafed online platform
It will be recalled that in December 2021 the Ministry of Labor and Rehabilitation prepared the first version of the digital platform Wafid, which is the unified electronic services platform of the Ministry through which the procedures for the recruitment of foreign workers will be automated.
As reported by Libya Herald at the time, through this digital platform, the Ministry of Labor says it aims to manage foreign labor affairs in an effective and flexible manner and monitor the number of expatriate workers in the country in support of the government’s planned implementation of projects.
The Ministry of Labor says it seeks to implement strategic planning and good management of human resources, which it says is considered one of the most important factors that will help in the success of upcoming development projects.
The Wafed foreign labor registration website is a major step for the Ministry of Labor in its efforts to organize the flow of foreign labor to Libya. At one extreme, workers from sub-Saharan Africa could arrive in Libya without any process or restrictions. It is often part of a system guarded and operated by Libyan security forces/militia. They are often part of the illegal migrant flow to Europe and use Libya as a stepping stone on their way.
Critics say the government has overreached by forcing Libyan companies to pay health care and insurance for foreign employees. They feel that the government should have concentrated first on entrenching the process of foreign labor registration.
Likewise, critics feel that if the government does not effectively curb the flow of the much cheaper illegal foreign migrant workers from sub-Saharan Africa, it will discourage the use of the more expensive and officially registered workers.
Nevertheless, for the more technically skilled foreign technicians and engineers, etc., the new system should be very useful for businesses – as long as the government/Central Bank of Libya transfers the registered workers’ wages at the official exchange rate.
Ministry of Labor launches Wafed website for foreign labor processing (libyaherald.com)