- Overview: Qatar
- Global HR Compliance
- Global PEO and payroll
- Work permit for hiring expats via PEO
- Contractor vs. employee: which is better?
Global HR Compliance in Qatar
If you hire international workforce, or plan to hire, then Hiring and Firing Workforce in Qatar Guide below will help you understand the nuances of labor legislation in the country.
There are two main reasons for companies hiring foreign workforce:
- Expanding into foreign markets to sell company product or products there. In this case, companies hire sales representatives who would exclusively represent their product in the target market and sell it to their local client base.
- Hiring the right foreign talent with a unique expertise, often related to IT sphere that cannot be found in the home country or that costs less compared to local specialist with similar skills.
After you have found the right candidate, the question is how to hire and provide compensation to this person so you as a business remain 100% compliant when working with global workforce. Another thing to consider is whether you want to keep the talent long-term and how you can do that.
If you need to hire foreign workforce in Qatar so you can expand there, then our Global Employer of Record solution may be of help. We help you legally hire and reward your foreign workforce by making them employees via a global employment outsourcing service. This is simple as employ your in-house workforce with the only difference that workers can live anywhere in the world and Acumen International would be their legal employer on your behalf. This means we would bear all employment risks, not you. Also, we manage bonuses, vacations, sick leave and can rent the office and a car for your foreign sales representatives if that is what you need.
With our solution, you can test new foreign markets before deciding whether you are going to get established there. You gain flexibility and expand with reduced costs, and easily withdraw from the unattractive countries.
We are experts in global workforce employment in Qatar, and our goal is to become your single provider. Instead of working with numerous local staffing agencies and legal advisors, Acumen International can solve your global business challenges and save you time, costs, and resources.
Our team of English-speaking professionals frees you from working through language nuances. Acumen International works 24/7 and can assist you whenever you need, regardless of time zones. Our goal is to create tailored labor solutions for you that are managed legally and in full compliance with the local employment laws.
With our knowledge and deep understanding of local nuances, you easily satisfy your need for skilled professionals in your global industry. With our qualified local partners, you can trust that your global workforce satisfies all local tax, social security, and immigration requirements in Qatar.
See Hiring and Firing Workforce in Qatar Guide below for a general overview of labor rules and regulations in the country. Or contact us if you need to employ workers in Qatar or would like to get more details.
Hiring and Firing Workforce in Qatar Guide
# Employment contracts
In Qatar, employers should provide foreign workers with a contract of employment (Service Contract), or an official letter of agreement which specifies the conditions of employment. According to Qatar laws, it is not mandated that an employment contract between an employee and an employer must be in writing, where verbal agreement is possible, although written agreement is preferred. If an employment relationship is established without a contract, sufficient proof should be provided.
The employment contract may be written in English, although it is the Arabic version that will be officially recognized by the Qatar Ministry of Labor. It is recommended to have any employment documents attested to by a notary, although it is not compulsory. In addition, the terms of the contract may possibly be changed, so proper precaution should be made.
The employment contract takes precedence over local labour laws due to greater stipulations and terms, although there are laws that provide certain protection regardless of the existence of a contract.
The duration of an employment contract is typically open-ended, moving from a traditional two-year contract to one that extends indefinitely until the assigned work is done or until either party wishes to terminate the contract. The duration of the contract may be extended given the mutual consent of the employer and the employee, and it is common for foreign workers to remain in Qatar for longer than 20 years.
It must be noted that Qatar has job quotas for certain industries like service industries, where official employment for that particular role may not be filled by a foreign employee.
# Minimum (Statutory) Employment Rules and Regulations in Qatar
# Hours of work:
Regular working hours shall not exceed 8 hours daily, 48 hours weekly, for workers of legal age. This excludes the month of Ramadan, when regular working hours shall not exceed six hours daily, 36 hours weekly. Shift rotation workers regular hours shall not exceed 8 hours daily or six hours during the month of Ramadan.
# Probation period:
The service contract may contain a provision subjecting the worker to a probation period to be agreed on between the two parties provided that the probation period shall not exceed six months.
The worker shall not be subjected to more than one probation period with the same employer.
The employer may terminate the contract within the probation period if it has been proved to him that the worker is not capable of carrying out the work provided that the employer shall notify the worker thereof before at least three days from the date of termination.
# Annual leave:
Every employee who spent 1 continuous year in the service of the employer shall be entitled to a regular annual fully paid leave.
Paid leave must not be less than the following:
- Two weeks for every worker with less than five continuous years of employment.
- Four weeks for every worker with five or more years of continuous employment.
The employer may determine the timing of the paid leave as the work situation requires. The worker may not divide his leave into more than 2 periods.
# Parental leave:
A female worker who has been employed by an employer for a complete year shall be entitled to maternity leave with full pay for a period of fifty days. Such maternity leave shall include the period before and after the delivery provided that the period following the delivery shall not be less than thirty- five days. This leave shall be granted subject to a medical certificate issued by a licensed physician stating the probable date of delivery.
If the remaining period of the leave after delivery is less than thirty days the female worker may be granted a complementary leave from her annual leave. Otherwise the complementary period shall be deemed to be a leave without pay.
If the medical condition of the female worker prevents her from resuming her work after expiry of her leave referred to in the preceding paragraphs the female worker shall be deemed to be on leave without pay provided that the period of her absence from works shall not exceed sixty consecutive or interrupted days and provided that a medical certificate of her medical condition shall be produced from a licensed physician.
# Sick leave:
An employee who spent 6 continuous months of employment shall have the right to a paid sick leave, provided that his sickness is certified by a licensed physician approved by the employer, within the following limits:
Two weeks with full pay, then Four weeks with half pay.
After that, the worker may have a sick leave without pay until he is able to return to his work and perform his duties properly, or resigns his employment, or his employment is terminated for health reasons.
An employee’s employment may be terminated at the end of the 14th week of sick leave, if it was evident by a licensed physician report, approved by the employer, that the worker is unable to continue his work at that time.
When actual working hours exceed the regular working hours, the additional time shall be considered overtime work and the worker shall receive for those hours his regular pay plus an additional 25% at least for overtime.
Actual working hours shall not exceed ten hours daily, unless the situation requires more hours to prevent a huge loss or a dangerous accident from occurring, or to repair or reduce the effect of said accident if it occurred.
# State minimum salary:
While Qatar’s labor law provides the emir with authority to set a minimum wage,no minimum wage rate has ever been set.
# Employee dismissal:
Termination is a big one. Both parties, employer and employee, have the right to mutually terminate a contract in Qatar. But, if an employer terminates employment without cause, they must pay the EOSB (End of Service Benefit), in addition to any salary or accrued benefits. The same requirement is applied if the employee terminates the contract and works out the required notice period.
Employees don’t receive EOSB if they are found:
- Breaking the law
- Under the influence of drugs or alcohol during working hours
- Assaulting their employer or manager
- Leaving without working out their notice period.
There are also differences if the employment contract is indefinite or definite. If an employee has a contract without a specified end date, they must receive written notification that typically gives them a one month’s notice. If an employee is employed for a definite or fixed term, both parties must mutually agree to terminate the employment before the contract term has expired. There doesn’t need to be a mutual agreement if there’s a cause for termination.
Acumen International can help you fast-track your possibilities of entering and expanding your business in Qatar by providing you with our Employer of Record services. Our unique mix of PEO/EOR solutions will enable you to jumpstart your global operations almost immediately, cost-effectively and compliantly without any need to set up a legal entity first or afterwards.