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Overview of Qatar's Labour Law

Published on : 20 Feb 2024

Qatar's Labour Law

Qatar, with its flourishing economy, vibrant culture, and modern lifestyle, has become a magnet for expatriate workers from around the globe. However, the allure of working in this prosperous nation comes hand in hand with a set of rules and regulations outlined in the Qatar Labour Law. This legal framework serves as the backbone for the employment relationship, covering various aspects ranging from contracts to termination and dispute resolution. Understanding and complying with these regulations are essential for both workers and employers operating in Qatar's private sector.

The Qatar Labour Law is a comprehensive set of rules that govern the employment landscape in the country. It addresses crucial elements such as contracts, wages, working hours, leave entitlements, termination procedures, and more. Importantly, it applies to all workers and employers in the private sector, with certain exemptions for specific categories like domestic workers, agricultural workers, and seafarers.

In 2015, the Qatari government introduced Law No. 21 of 2015, amending some provisions of the Qatar Labour Law to enhance the rights and protection of expatriate workers. The amendments focused on improving mobility and flexibility for expatriate workers in terms of entry, exit, and residency.

Recent Changes in the Qatar Labour Law

The dynamism of labour policies is evident in Qatar, with constant updates to adapt to evolving needs. Notably, recent changes in the Qatar Labour Law have been geared towards safeguarding the safety and well-being of migrant workers in the private sector. These changes have replaced previous regulations, demonstrating the government's commitment to refining the employment system. Some of the noteworthy updates include:

Central to the employment relationship in Qatar is the employment contract, regulated by the Qatar Labour Law. Employers are obligated to provide valid and compliant contracts that clearly outline the terms of work agreed upon by both parties. Key elements such as job title, responsibilities, personal data, start and end dates of employment, notice periods, annual leave, salary, and benefits must be included. The probation period in Qatar's employment contracts is limited to a maximum of six months.

Two primary types of labour contracts exist in Qatar – fixed-term contracts and indefinite contracts. Fixed-term contracts have a predetermined end date, typically ranging from two to five years, while indefinite contracts are open-ended, with the employee working indefinitely until termination by either party for a valid reason. Once the employment contract has received approval from the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs (MADLSA), it is essential to register it with the Ministry of Interior (MOI) to ensure its legal standing and compliance with Qatar's labor regulations.

Qatar introduced a new minimum wage regulation on September 8, 2020, with an effective date of March 2021. According to this regulation, all employees must earn a minimum of QAR 1,000 per month. This move is aimed at ensuring stability in the labour market and fostering overall growth. The law also specifies minimum monthly allowances for accommodation (QAR 500) and food (QAR 300).

Employees in Qatar are entitled to various types of leaves under the Qatar Labour Law. These include sick leave, public holidays, annual leave, maternity leave, and, although not mandated, many employers provide paternity leave ranging from 3 to 5 days.

Working hours in Qatar generally amount to eight hours per day, totaling 48 hours per week. Specific regulations apply during Ramadan, reducing the working week to 36 hours, with employees working six hours per day. Overtime work, defined as hours worked outside regular working hours, is subject to specific regulations and additional payments based on different scenarios.

Terminating employment contracts in Qatar is a nuanced process, dependent on whether the contract is definite or indefinite. While either party can terminate a contract, valid reasons must be presented. For definite contracts nearing their end date, employees may submit a non-renewal letter, while indefinite contracts require compliance with notice periods.

In a significant change, employees in Qatar are no longer required to submit a No Objection Certificate (NOC) to their existing employer when switching jobs, providing them with increased privacy and flexibility in their job search.

Understanding and adhering to the Qatar Labour Law is crucial, given the serious consequences for violations. Penalties range from fines of QAR 2,000 to QAR 100,000, and in extreme cases, may include imprisonment for up to one year. As Qatar's workforce continues to diversify, staying informed about the evolving legal landscape is imperative for both employers and employees to ensure compliance and contribute to the nation's growth and prosperity.


As Qatar continues to attract a diverse and dynamic workforce, the Qatar Labour Law remains a crucial instrument for fostering a fair and regulated employment environment. Both employers and employees must stay informed about the evolving legal landscape to ensure compliance and contribute to the nation's growth and prosperity.


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