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Qatar: Employee rights

Original and updating authors: Frank Lucente and Carlo Procacci, Al Tamimi & Company

Consultant editor: Katrina Wilson, Hassan Al Khater Law Office

Summary

  • The normal working hours of adult employees must not exceed 48 per week. (See Hours of work)
  • Employees are entitled to minimum rest/prayer/meal breaks and rest periods. (See Rest breaks and rest periods)
  • In Qatar generally, employees' statutory weekly rest day must normally fall on the holy day of Friday, while there is no such requirement in the Qatar Financial Centre. (See Friday work)
  • Eligible employees are entitled to paid annual leave. (See Holiday and holiday pay)
  • In Qatar generally, eligible pregnant employees are entitled to 50 days of maternity leave around the date of the birth, while in the Qatar Financial Centre female employees are entitled to three months of maternity leave. (See Maternity and pregnancy rights)
  • Muslim employees are entitled to take a certain specified period of unpaid leave to perform the Islamic Haj pilgrimage, once during service with an employer. (See Pilgrimage leave)
  • Employment legislation does not specifically refer to or regulate part-time work. (See Part-time workers)
  • Fixed-term contracts are permitted. (See Fixed-term workers)
  • Specific authorisation for the engagement of agency workers must be sought via the relevant public authorities prior to engagement. (See Temporary agency workers)
  • In Qatar generally, employees' contracts must not be terminated on the grounds that the ownership or management rights of the business where they are employed are transferred for any reason to another party, while in the Qatar Financial Centre the employment implications of business transfers are not subject to specific statutory regulation. (See Transfers of undertakings)
  • In the event of an employer's insolvency, employees' pay-related claims are given priority as preferential debts. (See Insolvency of employer)
  • In Qatar generally, employers with 10 or more employees must have disciplinary rules setting out disciplinary offences, penalties and procedures, while in the Qatar Financial Centre the only requirement in this respect is that employment contracts state any disciplinary rules and/or grievance procedures applicable to the employee. (See Disciplinary procedures and sanctions)
  • Unlike in Qatar generally, detailed data protection legislation applies within the jurisdiction of the Qatar Financial Centre. (See Data protection)