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Posted On: 23 June 2015 07:08 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:15 pm

Draft law specifies rules on job change

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Expatriates can take up a new job either after completing the contract with the current employer or in case of open contracts after serving the recruiter for five years, says a draft law regulating the entrance, exit and residency of expatriates in Qatar.

The Advisory Council reviewed the draft law comprising 50 articles distributed among 10 chapters, according to local Arabic daily Arrayah.

For changing a job, the expatriate worker has to secure the prior approval of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.

"In all cases the rights of the employer who recruited the worker and the provisions of the work contract between the employer and the worker should not be undermined."

One of the articles of the draft law provides for the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs to approve the temporary transfer of expatriate workers to another employer in case there is a litigation going on between the worker and his recruiter. Those who do not fall under the labour law, can be transferred to another employer in case the recruiter has been proven to have abused his rights or if public interest dictates so. Domestic workers are not covered by the labour law.

Workers who are terminated for violating any clause of the labour law or any other law and are unable to win an appeal against their dismissal, will be allowed to come back to Qatar for work only after four years from the date of their departure.

"The Minister could issue residency permits for some categories of expatriates such as investors, owners of real estate and residential units and their dependents , and any other category specified through a decision of the Cabinet. The duration of residency for such categories shall be five years and renewable for similar periods. Foreigners who come under such categories can enter and exit the country without the need for permits or visas throughout the period of validity of their residency in Qatar."

The law stipulates that foreigners cannot enter the country without a proper visa and work visas can be granted only on the basis of an employment contract with a recruiter.

Captains of ships and aircraft as well as vehicle drivers should submit a list of their crew to the department concerned as soon as they arrived in the country. Similarly, managers of hotels and tourism facilities should provide information about the persons, who are allowed to enter the country through them.

The draft law specifies the persons responsible for the residency of expatriates in the country as: employers, heads of families, hosts in case of visitors, and the official departments concerned for those who come for other purposes. The law also details the conditions for the recruiter. The Advisory Council also reviewed the views of Qatar Chamber's Education Committee on the issues of private schools in the country.

The committee pointed out that there are currently five Outstanding Schools, which are given a free government building, furniture and a bank loan on preferential terms. Since these schools are private institutions, the regulations and facilities should be reviewed to conform to the Qatari culture and identity.

Similarly, the types and categories of private schools in Qatar differ widely and need detailed regulations. Regarding penalties for violations, the committee suggested a review to introduce more flexibility and fairness. The committee also saw a pressing need to adopt an effective evaluation mechanism to ensure the quality of education at private schools. An assessment should be conducted to ensure the compliance of such schools with the national and cultural values besides the requirements of the community to which such schools cater, Arrayah added.