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Posted On: 16 January 2020 12:36 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:21 pm

Qatar announces new rules on exit permits, domestic workers now included!

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Another milestone for Qatar's labour reforms is announced today! In a press conference this morning, new reforms on exit permits were announced, with changes effective immediately. These changes are based on the Ministerial Decision No. 95 of 2019. On a tweet by Qatar's Government Communications Office (GCO), the following information was also shared.

Workers are free to leave Qatar either temporarily or permanently during their employment contracts. The International Labour Organization Project Office for the State of Qatar has also praised the changes, saying that it's another key step in labour reform agenda!

Here are the new job categories included in the change:

  • Domestic workers (subject to Law no. 15 of 2017)
  • Ministries and other government entities and public institutions (excluding members of the Qatar Armed Forces)
  • Oil and gas companies
  • Maritime companies
  • Agricultural companies
  • all other types of temporary work

Domestic workers should take note that employers should be notified at least 72 hours prior to the departure.

What will happen if the worker leaves without informing the employer? What if a worker breaks rules then runs away?

The worker will be banned from entering Qatar for 4 years and will not be allowed to work for another employer in the country during that duration. It will be counted as disciplinary termination and the worker will not be allowed to get his return ticket. The worker will also be denied the end of service gratuity and other financial settlements (salary).

What about the employers?

Employers still have the right to identify a maximum of five percent of their workforce whose exit from Qatar will continue to require prior approval due to their high level of responsibility. Employers can apply this to the Ministry of Interior and will need to provide a valid reason.

All images courtesy of Ministry of Interior

The Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, His Excellency Sheikh Abdulla bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, issued Ministerial Decision No. 95 of 2019, amending exit procedures and removing exit permits with immediate effect for expatriates who are not subject to Qatar's Labour Law.

The press conference today was addressed by Major Gen Mohamed Ahmed al-Ateeq, Director-General of Passports, Mohamed Hassan al-Obaidli, Assistant Undersecretary for Labour Affairs at the MADLSA, and Lt Col Ahmed Abdullah al-Harami, Assistant Director of the MoI's Legal Affairs Department.

Last October 28, 2018, we reported that reforms have been made regarding exit permits. As per the amendment, the expatriate workers that come under the Qatar Labour Law can leave the country without obtaining a prior permit, while the employer can restrict up to 5% of his workforce to obtain prior consent because of the nature of their work.

What do you think of this update? Let us know in the comments below!