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Employment Law in Qatar

The provisions of this law shall not apply to the following categories:

  1. The employees of the ministries and other governmental institutions, public institutions, corporations and companies which are established by Qatar Petroleum, and the employees whose employment affairs are regulated by special laws.

  2. The officers and members of the armed forces and police and the employees hired at sea.

  3. The employees working in casual works.

  4. The employees working in domestic employment such as drivers, nurses, cooks, gardeners and similar employees.

  5. Working members of employer’s family; the wife, ascendants and descendants who are residing with the employer or dependent on him.

  6. The employees employed in agriculture and grazing other than the persons employed in the agricultural companies processing and marketing their own products or those who are permanently employed in the operation or repair of the necessary agricultural mechanical appliances.

The provisions of this law may be a resolution of the Council of Ministers upon the recommendation of the Minister.

The entitlements prescribed by this law represent the minimum entitlements of the employees, and any stipulation contradicting the provisions of this law shall be void even if it was made prior to the date of application — unless the said stipulation is more advantageous to the employees and any release, compromise or waiver of the entitlements prescribed for the employees by this law shall be deemed void.

The employment relationship in Qatar is principally governed by the provisions of Law No. 14 of 2004 Regulating Employment, adopted on 19 May 2004, which includes the following amending texts.

  • Minister of Civil Service Affairs and Housing Decree No. 11/2005 regarding occupations that are exempted from provisions regulating limited working hours, which were adopted on 22 August 2005.

  • Law No. 3 of 2014 amending some provisions concerning fees and expanding the definition of entities that are excluded from the cover of the Labour Law, which was adopted on 4 February 2014 and published in the Official Gazette on 16 February 2014.

  • Law No. 1 of 2015 clarifying compensation and the enforcement of due wages, which was adopted on 18 February 2015.

  • Law No. 21 of 2015 detailing the regulations on the Entry, Exit, and Residency of Foreign Nationals, which was adopted on 27 October 2015.

Moreover, the following list includes texts and government decrees that have complemented the Labour Law.

  • Decree No. 18/2005 governing the gathering of data about occupational injuries and illnesses.

  • Minister of Civil Service Affairs and Housing Decree No. 19/2005, which obligates employers to conduct free and regular medical examinations for the employees.

  • Minister of Civil Service Affairs and Housing Decree No. 20/2005 regarding workplace safety and occupational hazards.

  • Law No. 1 of 2014, which spells out regulations concerning nursery schools.

  • Law No. 5 of 2014 about the National Service (which pertains only to Qatari nationals.)

  • Ministerial Order No. 18 of 2014, which sets the conditions for adequate housing for employees in Qatar.

All concerned authorities, each within its competence, will implement this Law. This Law shall come into force six months after the date of its publication in the Official Gazette.

Qatar employs a legal system wherein laws are implemented in two ways.

  1. The Sharia court (or Islamic court), which factors in the Islamic socio-cultural setting that results in the Sharia law.

  2. The Adlia courts (or civil courts) that stem from Qatar’s independence and strive to meet the law requirements of non-Muslims who reside in Qatar.

The Qatar Labour Law ratifies the minimum standard of rights and benefits for employees to which employers must adhere as well as the obligations of employees working in Qatar.

Employment Law in Qatar: Quick Facts
  • The Labour law requires a standard-format written employment contract between the employer and employee; if it is in a language other than Arabic, a translation must be attached. General Principles

  • An employment contract is defined as an agreement between an employer and an employee, whereby the latter commits to working for, and under the management and supervision of, the former in return for a wage. Employment Contracts

  • Before hiring expat employees from overseas, an employer in Qatar must obtain a labour clearance from the Labour Department. Work Permits and Job Offers

  • Private sectors must comply with Qatarisation targets for employment of roles. Qatarisation

  • Probationary periods have a duration of a maximum of six months which must be stipulated in the employment contract. The employer or employee may terminate the employment contract by providing a seven-day notice. Probationary Period

  • The minimum wage in Qatar is set at 1000 QAR which is the minimum prescribed salary for Qatar job seekers. Minimum Wage

  • The maximum work hours are nine hours a day or 48 hours a week, with a minimum of half an hour rest a day and two rest days a week. During Ramadan, the maximum working hours are 36 works a week. Working Time, Rest and Holidays

  • Employees are entitled to annual leave with pay depending on the years of employment (basic salary plus allowance). Annual Leave

  • Female employees are entitled to 50 days maternity leave on full pay. An employer must not dismiss a pregnant employee nor send her any notice during her pregnancy or maternity leave. Maternity Leave

  • Employees are entitled to sick leave with pay. The pay varies as per the duration of the sick leave. Sick Leave

  • The employer must not discriminate between employees regarding type of work, amount of wage or salary, employment, promotion, professional qualifications, and apparel. Equality and Discrimination

  • The priority will be to hire Qatari nationals; in case a non-Qatari national is hired, work permits and visas are necessary. Work Permits and Job Offers

  • Employers must provide employees with adequate means of protection against hazards of occupational injury and disease that may occur during work. They also have a range of specific obligations in their area. Health and Safety

  • In principle, an employer may dismiss an employee by providing the end-of-service gratuity or Pension Fund. An employee may also be dismissed without notice on certain misconduct-related grounds. Termination of Employment