Labour Ministry launches Wafed website for processing foreign labour

By Sami Zaptia.

(Logo: Ministry of Labour and Rehabilitation GNU)

London, 5 January 2022:

Libya’s Ministry of Labour and Rehabilitation has launched its official website for bringing foreign labour into the country.

The Ministry says this platform is the only official way that enables companies in Libya to bring in labour in an effective and efficient manner that saves time and effort. It also says the Wafed platform also provides legal protection for workers wishing to work in Libya.

The process will ensure that workers have insurance and health certificates.

The process also recognizes that for any development to take place in Libya, foreign labour is needed and the government has recognized that it needs to organize and facilitate the process.

The Ministry invites all concerned companies and expatriate workers to register on the platform via the following link: https://www.wafed.ly

Analysis

The Wafed foreign labour registration website is a big step for the Minister of Labour in its efforts to organize the flow of foreign labour into Libya. At one extreme, sub-Saharan workers have been able to arrive in Libya without any process or restrictions. These are often part of a system guarded and operated by Libyan security forces/militias. They are often part of the illegal migrant flow to Europe and use Libya as a steppingstone enroute.

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 enshrining the process of foreign labour registration.

Equally, critics feel that if the government does not clamp down on the flow of the much cheaper illegal foreign migrant workers from Sub-Saharan Africa, it would discourage the use of the more expensive and officially registered workers.

Nevertheless, for the more technically capable foreign technicians and engineers etc, the new system should prove very useful to businesses – as long as the government/Central Bank of Libya transfer the registered workers’ wages at the official exchange rate.

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