Employment Law in Qatar

Posted on August 27th, 2014

Qatar, located on the Arabian Peninsula and bordered by Saudi Arabia in the south, may seem to be a small country in terms of its size, but, in commercial terms this country is a rising giant. The Qatar Labor Law includes laws relating to legal rights, obligations of employees and employers and legal restrictions. According to the Qatari Law, an employee should obtain the permission of the employer (exit permit) to leave the country.

The nationals of Qatar looking for jobs can register with the Labor Ministry for job placements. If an employer wishes to hire a person who is not a Qatari national, he will have to obtain the necessary permission from the government. The major goals of the new Labor Law of Qatar (2004) are:

1.  To maintain a balance between the rights of the employer and employee.

2.  To offer priority to the nationals of Qatar while hiring.



Foreigners can work in Qatar if someone sponsors them, but an employee will not be eligible to work for any employer other than the company which has sponsored him/her. The sponsorship can be transferred to another employee only if both the original employer and the new employer agree to the change. If the employee under the sponsorship scheme wishes to work for another employer, he can do so only by obtaining a No Objection Certificate from the current employer. If the employee fails to receive such letter from the current employer, he will be banned from working in Qatar for two years.



The employment contract should be drafted in Arabic (or bilingual) and can be for a definit or indefinite period. It must be registered with the Ministry of Labor and should include essential information such as  the duration of contract, the nature of work, wages, allowances, etc.

Probation period can be up to to 6 months. The duration of a fixed term employment contract can not be more than 5 years. Such contract can be renewed upon agreement between the two parties. According to the law, the maximum ordinary working hours per week should not exceed 48 hours. The worker shall be entitled to a weekly paid rest which shall not be less than twenty-four consecutive hours and Friday shall be the weekly rest day for all workers with the exception of the shift workers.


Annual Leave

The worker who has completed one continuous year in the service of the employer shall be entitled to an annual leave with pay. The Employee shall be entitled to a paid annual leave of at least three weeks where his employment is less than five years and 4 weeks at least where his employment is above five years.The employee is also entitled to get a paid sick leave. Employers should take necessary steps to protect their employees from any injury or mis-happenings. In case of injuries arising due to the lack of precautionary measures by the employer, the company will have to pay the necessary compensation to the employee.

The employee is entitled to receive a gratuity at the end of his service.

Al Misnad Law is able to offer assistance in all aspects of company formation in Qatar. Call +974 4016 7020 for law and legal services/Consulting.