Accepting a Job in Qatar: What to Know

Working in Qatar can be a unique and exciting experience, but it’s important to understand the employment laws and culture of the country before accepting a job offer. Here are some key points to consider when accepting a job in Qatar:

  1. Understanding your employment contract: Make sure to thoroughly read and understand your employment contract, which is usually in bilingual form. Be sure that the following items are included in the contract:
      1. Employer’s name, place of work, and type of work
      2. Identification details such as full name, qualifications, nationality, residence, and profession
      3. Start and end dates of the contract
      4. Salary rate, disbursement, and release schedule
      5. Employer’s responsibility for visa expenses
  2. Overtimes: Be aware of the overtime rates and times in Qatar. According to the Qatar Labor Law, overtime cannot exceed ten hours unless it’s necessary to prevent an accident or repair consequences of previous actions. Overtimes are compensated at a rate of at least 25% higher than your basic wage.
  3. Employee benefits: Employers are required to provide the following benefits to employees in Qatar:
      1. Basic salary
      2. Accommodation or an allowance for it
      3. Annual round-trip ticket to the employee’s home country
      4. Transportation allowance
      5. Annual leave, sick leave, and vacation days
  4. Gender equality: Qatar strictly enforces gender equality in the workplace in terms of work responsibilities and benefits. However, women are entitled to maternity leave and nursing periods, and it’s illegal for their contract to end abruptly due to pregnancy or marriage.
  5. End of service gratuity: After a year of employment, workers are entitled to a benefit equivalent to three weeks of wages on their last salary rate for each year of service.
  6. Health insurance: Currently, health insurance is not provided by many employers in Qatar as the government provides health insurance to citizens and expats through the Hamad Medical Corporation. Reforms for expatriate health inclusion are underway.
  7. Right to revoke sponsorship: If an employee resigns, is terminated, or their contract ends, the employer has the right to revoke sponsorship. The employer is also responsible for returning the foreign worker to their home country, while the worker is expected to depart within seven days of receiving their exit permit.
  8. Issuing a Qatar business visa: Employers may issue business visas to prospective employees for a month, with a two-month extension if necessary. Re-entering Qatar requires a new visa.
  9. Changing sponsorship: Foreign workers who have been in Qatar for at least two years can change sponsors with a “No Objection Certificate” from their current sponsor. After December 14, 2016, employees who have completed their fixed-term contracts will be able to change jobs without approval from their previous employer.

In conclusion, understanding the employment laws and culture in Qatar can make adjusting to your new workplace much easier. Be sure to thoroughly read and understand your employment contract, and consider all of the benefits and obligations associated with working in Qatar.