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Posted On: 21 September 2020 12:00 pm
Updated On: 21 October 2020 06:11 am

How does the removal of NOC affect employers in Qatar?

Darlene
Darlene
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Now that all workers in Qatar can change jobs without having to obtain a No Objection Certificate (NOC), most employers were left confused about how this new law will affect labour mobility. These changes mark a major milestone in Qatar’s labour reform agenda and transition towards a knowledge-based economy as set out in Vision 2030.

But 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. So what are the new procedures that employers need to follow when an employee wants to change jobs? Read the information from the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs below.

If you're an employee, read this: How to change job in Qatar without NOC (2020 version)

What do these changes mean in practice?

All workers in Qatar, whether on fixed-term contracts or open-ended contracts, no longer need to obtain a NOC to change employers. This means that as an employer, you can now more easily recruit workers locally, with the skills and local experience needed for the job.

How will these legislative changes benefit me as an employer?

The new laws will lead to:

  • Better job matching where employers can recruit workers with the right skills to carry out the tasks and previous experience in Qatar
  • Decrease in recruitment and repatriation costs through local recruitment
  • Increased job satisfaction leading to higher retention of workers

What procedures do I have to follow as an employer to terminate the employment contract of a worker?

After the probation period, an employer wishing to terminate the employment contract of a worker must notify the worker that he/she plans to terminate the employment contract, through ADLSA’s electronic system.

  • If the worker has worked with the employer for two years or less, the notice period is 1 month.
  • If the worker has worked with the employer for more than two years, the notice period is 2 months.

The employer should continue to pay the wage and other benefits to the worker during the notice period, as per the employment contract.

Can an employer terminate the employment contract of a worker immediately without observing the notice period?

If the employer terminates the contract without observing the notice period, he/she must pay the worker a compensation equivalent to the worker’s basic wage for the notice period or the remaining duration of the notice period. This is calculated as an amount equivalent to the basic wage for the remaining part of the notice period.

For example: If the worker’s basic wage is QAR 1,500 per month and the employer asks the worker to stop working two weeks before the end of a one-month notice period, the employer will have to pay to the worker QAR 750 to terminate the contract legally.

Can an employer terminate the employment contract of a worker during the probation period?

An employer may terminate the employment contract of a worker during the probation period if the employer finds out that the worker is unfit to carry out his/her duties. The employer must notify the worker at least 1 month before the termination, through ADLSA’s electronic system.

Upon termination of the employment contract, if the worker is going back to his/her country, the employer must cover the expenses of the return plane ticket.

During the probation period, can an employer terminate the employment contract of a worker without observing the notice period?

If the employer asks the worker to stop working before the end of the notice period, the employer shall pay the worker for every day of the notice period the employer asked the worker not to work.

This is calculated as an amount equivalent to the basic wage for the remaining part of the notice period.

For example: If the worker’s basic wage is QAR 1,500 per month and the employer asks the worker to stop working two weeks before the end of a one-month notice period the employer will have to pay to the worker QAR 750 to terminate the contract legally.

Does an employer have to pay for the return flight ticket of the worker upon termination?

The employer must complete the worker’s repatriation procedures, including bearing the cost of a return air ticket, to his/her country of residence within a maximum of two weeks from contract expiration. If the workers join another employer before leaving the country, the repatriation obligation shall be incumbent upon the new employer.

In cases where the worker terminates the employment contract prior to its end and plans to leave Qatar while respecting the notice period (outside of the scope of amended Article 51 of the Labour Law), the employer shall cover part of the cost of the return air ticket proportional to the actual employment duration the worker completed out of the full term of the employment contract.

What procedures does a new employer have to follow to locally recruit a worker?

1. Once the change of employer (requested by the worker) is approved by ADLSA, the employer will receive a confirmation SMS from ADLSA

2. The employer is then responsible for filling the information on the employment contract with the new worker through ADLSA’s Digital Authentication System for a Multi-lingual Employment Contract. After filling the information, the employer should print the employment contract to be signed by himself/herself and the worker, and then will upload the signed copy with the other required documents on to the digital platform.

Upon ADLSA’s confirmation that the employment contract has been authenticated, the 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. He/she must provide a copy of the authenticated employment contract to the worker.

3. The employer should log into the Ministry of Interior’s METRASH services webpage to request a new Qatari ID card (QID) for the worker.

4. Once the QID procedure is completed, the employer should provide the new QID and the health card to the new worker.

Who pays for the administrative procedure required to change the employer?

The administrative procedure required to change the employer is free of charge for workers. The new employer should pay QAR 60 to authenticate the newly signed employment contract.

Where can employers find more information?

For more information please contact the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs on the hotline (16008) or send an email [email protected], check website www.adlsa.gov.qa, or visit MADSLA offices.

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Source: Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs; International Labour Organization