In a historic move, Qatar announced the removal of the No Objection Certificate requirement last August 30 along with the new minimum wage law. Law No.18 removing the NOC (No Objection Certificate) requirement to change jobs in Qatar has since been published in Qatar's Official Gazette last September 9. According to the law, it's effective the day after being published in the Official Gazette.
So what does this mean for the workforce in Qatar? What is the new procedure for changing jobs or employers? What are the changes that the employees need to know about? Read on to find out from the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour, and Social Affairs (ADLSA).
According to MADLSA, all workers in the State of Qatar can now change jobs without having to obtain a No Objection Certificate (NOC) anytime during their contract period. While the removal of the NOC covers all workers, the rules to end an employment contract and change jobs differ for different categories of workers.
The steps to change a job in Qatar without NOC are as follows:
1. Notify your current employer that you plan to terminate your contract and change the job, through ADLSA’s electronic system. The period from the day you inform your employer until the day you leave is called the notice period. You have to continue working with your current employer during this time.
2. Submit a form to change jobs through the electronic notification system of the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs (ADLSA), and attach the following 2 documents:
3. Upon receiving an SMS from ADLSA confirming the change of employment, talk to your new employer to ensure he/she fills the contract information through ADLSA’s Digital Authentication System for a Multi-lingual Employment Contract.
After filling the information, the new employer will print the employment contract to be signed by both of you, and then will upload the signed copy with the other required documents on to the digital platform.
Upon ADLSA’s confirmation to the new employer that the employment contract has been authenticated, your new employer must pay the fees for contract authentication and print the authenticated employment contract, which will be automatically sent to the Ministry of Interior’s programme for ID issuance purposes. Your new employer should give you a copy. You can also download a copy through the platform.
4. The new employer will log into the Ministry of Interior’s Metrash services webpage to request a new Qatari ID card (QID). Your employer will receive an approval for the new QID from the Ministry of Interior. You should receive your new QID and a valid health card from your new employer.
It may be stipulated in your employment contract that you shall be subject to a probation period agreed upon with your employer, provided that the probation period does not exceed six months from the date of commencement of your work. You shall not be subject to more than one probation period with the same employer.
You may terminate the employment contract within the probation period, provided you comply with the following:
If you decide to stop working before the end of your notice period, you will have to pay your current employer for every day of the notice period you do not work.
This is calculated as an amount equivalent to your basic wage for the remaining part of the notice period on a pro-rata basis.
For example: If you want to stop working two weeks before the end of your notice period and your basic wage is QAR 1,500 per month, you will have to pay your employer QAR 750 to terminate the contract legally.
No, the procedure to change the employer is free of charge for workers. You do not need to pay or reimburse any amount to your new employer for the issuance of a new QID and health card either.
Your employer can only include a non-compete clause in your employment contract if the nature of your work puts you in a position to know the clients of the employer or the secrets of the business. This means that after your contract termination, you cannot compete with the employer or take part in any competing business in the same economic sector.
The duration of the non-compete clause cannot exceed one year from the date of leaving your employment. ADLSA will issue a regulation to further clarify the provisions related to the non-compete clauses.
If you have completed at least one year of employment and want to change employer, you have the right to receive from your current employer your end of service benefits along with any accrued annual leave and other benefits as stated in your employment contract.
If your current employer has not fulfilled his/her legal obligations (including payment of wages), then you can change jobs without giving any notice as per amended Article (51) of the Labour Law. You should submit a complaint with the Labour Relations Department of ADLSA.
Remember you have the full right to:
If you leave Qatar without giving a notification or completing your notice period, you will not be able to return to work in Qatar for one year. In order to avoid such situation, you should follow the below procedures:
Yes, your employer can also terminate your employment contract.
1. During the probation period, if your employer finds you “unfit to carry out your work duties” as stipulated in your employment contract, your employer can terminate the contract but must notify you at least one month before the termination through ADLSA’s electronic system.
If upon the termination of the employment contract you decide to go back to your country of residence, the employer must cover the expenses of the return plane ticket.
2. After the probation period, if your employer wants to terminate your employment contract he/she must notify you through ADLSA’s electronic system.
Both you and your employer must uphold the terms and conditions of the employment contract during the notice period.
If the employer terminates your contract without observing the notice period, he/she must pay you a compensation equivalent to your basic wage for the notice period or the remaining part of the notice period.
For example: If your basic wage is QAR 1,500 per month and your employer asks you to stop working two weeks before the end of a one-month notice period your employer will have to pay you QAR 750 to terminate the contract legally.
Your employer must complete your repatriation procedures, including bearing the cost of a return air ticket, to your country of residence within a maximum of two weeks from your contract expiration. If you join another employer before leaving the country, the repatriation obligation shall be incumbent upon the new employer.
In cases where you terminate the contract and plan to leave Qatar while respecting the notice period (outside of the scope of the amended Article 51 of the Labour Law), your employer shall only cover part of the cost of the return air ticket proportional to the employment duration you completed out of the full term of the contract.
For example: If you terminate your two-year employment contract after working for one year, the employer shall cover half of the total cost of the return flight ticket.
The rules for terminating and changing jobs for domestic workers are the same as for workers covered by the Labour Law No. 14 of 2004. An updated standard employment contract for domestic workers reflecting those rules is forthcoming.
However, remember that the probation period for domestic workers cannot exceed 3 months. In addition, a domestic worker can only have one probation period with the same employer.
Employers of domestic workers may unilaterally terminate the employment contract without notice and without granting end of service gratuity for the year of dismissal if the worker does not abide by the obligations stipulated in the employment contract or those described in Articles (16) and (11) of Law No. 15 of 2017 on Domestic Workers.
In addition, domestic workers may unilaterally terminate their employment contract anytime during the contract period without notice and while keeping their right to an end of service gratuity, pro-rata annual leave dues, as well as a return plane ticket back to his/her country of origin, in cases specified by Article 17 of Law No. 15 of 2017 on Domestic Workers.
The rules for terminating and changing jobs for agricultural and grazing workers, as well as fishermen, are exactly the same as for private sector worker covered by the Labour Law No. 14 of 2004.
If you need more details, check the Council of Ministers Resolution No. 17 of 2012 on the application of some provisions of the Labour Law No. 14 of 2004 to workers in agriculture and grazing.
If you feel that your current employer is unfairly preventing you from changing jobs or if you need more information, contact the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour, and Social Affairs Labour Relations Department:
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