Qatar’s new law ,kafala,sponsorship No NOC, No BAN ,16 things About New QATAR Labor Law changes

qatar labour low

Qatar has completed the preparation for the regulations of the law regulating the entry and exit of expatriates and it will come into effect from 13th of December this year.

Executive regulations are bye-laws that explain each article of a law and explain in detail how they are to be put in force.

The law (Number 21 of 2015) regulating the entry, exit and residency of foreign workers was issued late last year, amending a previous legislation.

Law Number 21 of 2015, which abolishes the stipulations of Law Number 4 of 2009 regarding Regulation of the Expatriates Entry, Departure, Residence and Sponsorship, was issued on October 27 last year.

Among other changes, the new law abolishes the current two-year ban on expatriates who want to come back to the country on a new visa. Presently it requires a no-objection certificate from the previous employer for a former resident to take up a new job in Qatar.

The new legislation will replace the sponsorship system and make the employment and stay of expatiates here entirely contract-based.

Job contract will need to be signed by a foreign worker before he lands here once the new law is in effect from later this year.

Also, employment contracts of all expatriate workers who are already here will be replaced with new contracts.

In other words, all expatriate workers will have to sign new contracts with their employers in compliance with the provisions of the new law (No 21 of 2015).

“Since the new law abolishes kafala (sponsorship system), a person who had previously worked in Qatar would not have to seek the approval of his former sponsor if he is recruited by a new employer,” Brigadier Mohamed Ahmed al-Atiq, assistant-director general of the Department of Border, Passport and Expatriates Affairs, had said while explaining the salient features of the new law.

“A foreign worker who has got a new contract to work in Qatar can come back even the next day, provided he has met the other requirements like visa,” he had said.

This contract will form the basis of the relationship between a foreign worker and his employer. The contract will be signed for two or five years’ duration and both the sides will be obliged to follow its clauses that will contain terms and conditions.

Once the new law is in effect, the exit permit system whereby a foreign worker needs written permission from his sponsor to travel overseas will also end.

A worker would only need to inform his employer about his departure.

According to Article 26 of the new law, if a foreign worker is fired as a punitive measure and he did not appeal his dismissal or his plea was rejected by a court, he shall not be permitted to come back to Qatar before the passage of four years.

Also, an expatriate worker repatriated upon a court verdict cannot come back unless he got the approval of the Minister of Interior.

According to the new law, expatriate workers can change jobs with government permission, either after the expiry of their contracts or after five years of service with their employer in case of open-ended contracts.

For changing of jobs before the expiry of contract, the new law stipulates that the expatriate worker has to get the approval of the employer, alongside the concerned government entities.

The new law also enables expatriate workers to apply exit permits themselves through the approved channels of the Ministry of Interior, without having to seek the permission of the employer. The request would be granted within three working days.

In cases of emergency and the mutual agreement of both the worker and the employer the exit permit will be granted immediately.

According to new law no approval from former employer is required if he is recruited by a new employer. An expat can also move to another sponsor with the approval of MOI and MOLSA if the sponsor is dead or the company no longer exists for any reason.

9 things that expats don’t like about the current Qatar Labour Law

1. No Freedom to switch Jobs/Employers

The work permit of an expat is directly related to the employer and the current law also entitles them to issue a ‘banning order’ that prevents expats from joining another employer for a period of two years.

2. Without Employer’s permission exiting the country is impossible

Expats in Qatar sponsored by an employer cannot temporarily or permanently leave Qatar unless having first obtained an exit permit from their employer.

3. Two-Year Ban to re-entry

If an expat quits a job without securing an NOC from his employer he/she may face a ban of up to 2 years. During the time of the ban the individual is not allowed to work in Qatar and must leave the country. During the duration of the two year ban, they may not re-enter Qatar on any type of visitor visa, not even for the purpose of tourism.

4. Low salary for freshers

Many freshers are paid a salary figure that is totally different from what it says on their documentation.

5. No or little hikes in salary

qatar labour low Despite accounting for 80% of the work-force expats are usually left out of the salary hike decisions by the companies and if there is a salary it is usually very little in comparison to the hikes provided to Qatari citizens.

6. Employers withhold passport/salary/ End of service benefits

Despite all these being in flagrant contravention of the labour law many companies indulge in this practice as recourse to law can prove to be a costly affair in Qatar that many expats cannot afford.

7. Employers don’t provide facilities like Accommodation/Proper Transportation/safety

By law, an employer is required to provide the following benefits to an employee: basic salary, accommodation or accommodation allowance, however, there are many instances where employers refuse to provide these facilities by making one or the other excuse.

8. Fear about complaining against employer abuse

Many expats do not lodge complaints against their abusive employers because they fear that their employer may retaliate in a way that would lead to their persecution and subsequent loss of employment and eventual deportation from the country.

9. Working hours

As per Labor law working time should be 48 hours per week, during Ramadan 36 hours. But some companies force expat workers to work more than usual working hours without paying any overtime.

– See more at: wach video