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25 December 2018 02:13 pm

Changing your job in Qatar: A comprehensive guide

nabeela
nabeela
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If you are an expat in Qatar looking for a better job opportunity, feel like you have become stagnant where you are working now and want to explore new horizons, or were recently terminated from your job in Qatar, then this is the perfect guide for you.

Note: Now that Qatar’s new sponsorship and job laws have been adopted and are well in place since 13 December 2016, the ban on working in Qatar for two years after your job ends has been lifted and you can switch jobs anytime.

Law No.21 of 2015 (entry, exit and residence law) in Qatar for Expats Changing Jobs

Note: Now that Qatar’s new sponsorship laws have been adopted and are well in place since 13 December 2016, the ban on working in Qatar for two years after your job ends has been lifted and you can switch jobs anytime.

1. Indefinite, open-ended contract term

If an expat employee has approval from the Qatari government, after their contract with their present employer has expired or after they have been working with the current employer for a minimum of five years (indefinite, open-ended contract term), the employee can change jobs.

2. Fixed contract term

If an employee wants to change their job before they have completed, at least, five years of employment (indefinite, open-ended contract term) with the current employer or before their contract (fixed contract term )expires, the employee must get permission from the current employer to make the switch.

3. Notice period 

Before changing jobs, the employee must hand in a written notice to the current employer. The notice period is usually 30 days but will depend on what is stated in the employment contract. 

 4. No objection certificate 

No objection certificate from the previous employer is no longer a requirement for changing jobs if the employee has completed five years in an indefinite, open-ended contract term. 

 5. New job, new visa

If the previous employer cancels an employee’s residence permit, the employee can come back to Qatar immediately and start up a new job after obtaining the necessary visa. If the employee has a new visa for the new job, the employee can return back to Qatar even the next day and start the new employment. 

6. Three months grace period 

If an employee’s employment contract is terminated, the expat is eligible to stay in Qatar for three months to find another job, after informing the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs (MADLSA). 

If the expat finds another job within this time frame, the expat must return to MADLSA and present it with the new employment contract. In case the expat is unable to find a new job within these three months, the residence permit will be cancelled and the the expat must leave the country within a week.

7. New visa approval

The new employer has to have approval for the same nationality, profession and gender. This means that if a potential employee is a ‘Pakistani male engineer, then the employer who wants to hire him must also have approval to hire a ‘Pakistani male engineer’.

8. No employment for anyone over 60

The age of any employee should be less than 60 years. In case, he/she is more than 60 years, the employment will be terminated, and the residence permit cancelled.

There should be no employment restrictions imposed on the potential employer. This means that there should be no hiring ban from government authorities that restrict a potential employer from hiring new employees.

9. Disciplinary 4-year ban

If an employee is terminated from their job based on disciplinary action, he/she will immediately have to leave the country and will be banned from re-entering Qatar for four years.

If the employee feels the termination was wrong or the employment was terminated on unfair grounds, he/she may appeal in the relevant Qatari Court. If the employee loses the appeal, he/she will not be allowed to re-enter Qatar for four years.

10. Working with competitors

If the nature of an employee’s job is such that he/she has access to confidential employer business data that may be harmful for the employer if leaked out, then if that employee wants to switch jobs, the current employer has the right to stipulate that the employee will not compete with them or join any such organisation that is a direct competitor for two years. This stipulation will only be valid if it is restricted as to the place and to the type of the work to the extent necessary to safeguard the current employer’s lawful interests. 

11. Fees for changing job

1. If an employee is changing employer for the first time: QR 2000 for companies, QR 1000 for individuals.

2. If an employee is changing employer for the second time: QR 2500 for companies, QR 1500 for individuals.

3. If an employee is changing employer for the third time or more: QR 3000 for companies, QR 2000 for individuals.

9 ways to change your job in Qatar

Now that you know all about the laws in Qatar on changing jobs, let's talk about the different ways in which you can switch your job and fine a new one here in Qatar. 

1. Resume/CVs

The first and foremost thing to do before you venture out into the Qatari employment market is to ensure your Resume/CV is impeccable. What does that mean? Let me tell you.

It is very important that you have a neat, uncluttered Resume/CV that is up-to-date with all the relevant information that an employer may be looking for. Try not to make your Resume/CV more than two pages long and adapt your Resume/CV according to and depending on the job position you are applying for. Your Resume/CV is probably the first thing your potential employer will be looking at, so it should be in tip-top condition to ensure it doesn’t get trashed before someone even reads through it.

For more information on what to put on your Resume/CV and what not to, click here

2. Within the organisation

Before you look beyond your organisation for job opportunities, it's a good idea to look within your workplace for a new role. You can search your organisation's website for new opportunities in a different department or division. You can also talk to your manager or colleagues from the different departments or divisions to find out if their are any potential job openings that you could take on. It's worth a shot and will save you a lot of trouble.

3. Local newspapers

Local Qatari newspapers, English and Arabic, have a regular listing of job ads that you can search to find one that suits your qualifications and experience.

4. Recruitment agencies

Recruitment agencies can be a great way to look for a job as most of them have categories and subcategories of job listings with details which can help you find the best fit. Watch out for the disreputable and dishonest ones, though. They may charge you money for their services and then not do much to help you with the job search. Check the websites to ensure they are reputable recruitment agencies and also ask around for more information. We have listed some recruitment agencies below:

1. Al Khebra for Manpower Company

2. Al Mana Recruitment

3. Al Sial Manpower Recruitment

4. Cappo

5. Global Professional Services

6. Key Resources Recruitment and Consultancy

7. Linum Consult 

8. Mahad Manpower

9. Management Solutions International Qatar http://www.msiqatar.com/

10. Matrix HR Solutions http://www.matrixintl.org/abou...

11. Michael Page Qatar https://www.michaelpage.ae/job...

12. NES Global Talent Qatar

13. People Dynamics

14. Premium

15. Staff Source International

16. The Square Manpower

17. Work Circle

18. 1Recruit International Qatar

5. Company websites

Many reputable companies have career/job pages on their sites where you can find a complete listing of job vacancies on offer by the company and their locations. Often you can register on these sites to receive e-mail notifications for job vacancies, upload your Resume/CV and/or fill in an online job application form.

6. LinkedIn

A lot of people have found jobs through LinkedIn, so if you don’t have an account on it, make one now. You can connect with a huge number of professionals in different organisations and recruitment agents through LinkedIn directly linked to the industry you want a job in, and who knows, this may be how you find your next big job.

LinkedIn also has a Jobs section where you can browse for jobs based on the career interests you select on the page.

7. Online job sites

There are a large number of online job websites where you can search for jobs based on industry, relevance, newest jobs, company type, function, monthly salaries and more.

Many of these online job sites also allow you to upload your Resume/CV so employers know who you are, your qualifications and experience, and if you’re the kind of person they’re looking for, they will get in touch with you and, perhaps, hire you if you fit the criteria they are looking for.

We have listed some online job sites to help you out.

1. Bayt Qatar

2. Career Jet Qatar

3. Doha Careers

4.Gulf Talent

5. Indeed

6. Monster Gulf

7. NaukriGulf

8. Total Jobs

8. Send Resume/CVs to different companies 

Email or personally deliver (don’t think twice about going into an office and handing in your Resume/CV or asking if there is a job position open for someone like you; just go!) a copy of your updated and neat Resume/CV to potential organisations. The more the better. You never know when you might be lucky. Perhaps, after going through your Resume/CV, they will feel compelled to invite you to an interview and hire you.

9. Networking

If you know people in Qatar, believe me, it helps (that’s how my husband landed his current job in Doha! Networking of the last nine years really did help!). Get in touch with people in your social and professional network and find out if the organisation they work for is looking for someone with your qualifications and experience. If not, they may know someone who is looking for someone like you. Perhaps, they can forward your Resume/CV to the right people and also put in a good word for you. Networking and knowing people actually does help land a job faster.

Look around for networking events and visit the ones you think will help you professionally. It’s a great way to connect with professionals from different organisations. You can tell them you are looking for a job opportunity, and who knows, it may just be your lucky day. Maybe they can help you secure an interview with their organisation or connect you with someone who is looking for a potential employee with your qualifications and experience.

Are you looking for a new job? Do you want to switch careers? Do you have any more tips on how to change jobs here in Qatar? Were you aware of the new job laws in Qatar? Are you happy with the changes? Do let us know what you think in our Comments section. Like and share the article - it keeps us going!