Wednesday 28 September 2022

Qatar to implement sweeping labour law reforms in 2016

DOHA, December 26, 2015

Qatar is set to implement a new residency law from next year replacing the Kafala (sponsorship) system with a contract-based system that will help in regulating the entry and exit of the expatriates, said a report.

The law was published in the official gazette (Issue No. 29) on December 13, said the daily. It is to be implemented one year after the date of publication in the official gazette, reported Arabic daily Al Sharq.

Issued on October 27, the law has replaced the sponsorship system with a contract-based system and cancelled the exit permit system, it stated.

Under the new law, the expatriate worker can return to the country two or three days after his exit instaed of the two-year period required earlier.

The only conditions are that he should be on a new job contract, must fulfil all entry visa requirements and should not have any court verdict against him, said the report, citing Brigadier Mohammed Ahmed Al Atiq, the assistant director general, Department of Boarder Passports and Expatriates Affairs at the Ministry of Interior.

As per the new labour rules, all the expatriate workers will have to sign job contracts with their employers and no exit permit from the sponsor will be required for them to leave the country.

"He only needs to inform the employer that he will be leaving," stated Brigadier Mohammed.

"The employer has no right to stop the worker from leaving the country and in case of any objection from the employer, both sides can approach the grievances committee to be set up under the law to look into such complaints," he added.

However, the law will not be applicable to contracts signed before its implementation.

The Ministry of Interior earlier explained that to leave the country, an employee needs to apply its departments concerned through Metrash 2 and inform his employer three days in advance.

In case of an emergency, the workers can leave immediately after notifying the employer and by approval of the authorities concerned.

Under the sweeping reforms, the expatriate workers will get to keep the passports themselves. Those employers who are found violating the rules will be slapped with a fine of QR10,000 to QR25,000 ($2743 to $6860) for each passport, warned the top official.

The new law also permits expatriate workers to change jobs subject to conditions, he added.

Tags: Qatar | Sponsorship | labour laws | Kafala |

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