Sponsor-Based Vs. Contract-Based Employment in Qatar

Sponsored based contracts allow employees to rely on their sponsors when it comes to every process of employment. But here in Qatar, the situation is different. Although it is still called the Sponsorship law, employees here rely on the contract-based employment wherein the Ministry of Interior intervenes with the process that happens between the employees and employers.

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In 2015, the new sponsorship law was implemented, initiating the changes in the labor law in Qatar. Expats who are employed before and after the change must know the major amendments as these will affect your rights and privileges as workers in this country.

Contract Signature

Important Key Points to Note

Deciding To Leave The Country

If in case you decide to leave the country, Article 7 of the Qatar Labor Law states the following:

  • The employee or the recruiter (or the employer) should report to the Ministry of Interior (MOI) 3 days prior to the date of exit.
  • The employee can exit immediately once the approval for the leave has reached the MOI.
  • If there is an objection from the MOI, the employee can direct to the expatriate exit petitions committee.

Custody of Passport

Some expats are still getting caught up with the wrong custody of the passport. Some employers keep their employees’ passports to prohibit them to leave or exit the country without their approval. This should not be the case according to Article 8 of the Qatar Labor Law. The provisions state the following:

  • The recruiter (employer) should give back the passport to employees after completing all the required processes.
  • The employee can choose to leave his documents in custody of the employer as long as it is in writing and the documents can be released as soon as the employee requested.

Exiting The Country

Staying out of Qatar for more than 6 consecutive months is not allowed as per article 14 of the labor law. If this happens, the employee should seek a permit to return to the country before reaching 1 year outside the country and within the 60 days after the expiry of the residence permit.

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Repatriation of Expats

For employees who quit their job, your employer is responsible to tell the MOI within 14 days that you are quitting the job and leaving the country. Consequently, here are the following provisions on repatriation:

  • The employer bears all the repatriation expenses.
  • If the employee is working for more than one employer, he is responsible for his own repatriation cost.
  • If the expat dies, the employer is responsible for the expenses of burying the body in any cemetery in the country.
  • If the family of the expat requested for the body to be repatriated, the employer should pay for the repatriation cost.

These are some of the major key points you have to keep in mind if you’re an employee in Qatar. Always keep yourself updated on the new laws and provisions.

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