In a situation where in a current employer refuses to accept his employee’s resignationdespite being given written notice 30 days prior, the employee may turn to the Ministry of Labour to file a case.

QUESTION: I have been working with a private company in Qatar for almost three years. My contract is unlimited. I have now submitted  my resignation, giving a two-month notice to give the company sufficient time to look for my replacement. My employer has rejected my resignation letter, however. Has my employer the legal right to reject my resignation letter? What should I do now since I have already decided to leave Qatar for good? Where can I seek help?

qatar airways

ANSWER: Acceptance of the resignation by the employer is not required. The basic requirement is that a termination requires communication to the employer of the fact that the contract is terminated and no longer valid.

When terminating a contract of employment it is a requirement of the party giving notice to give the other party the appropriate period of notice as required under Labour Law.

As per Article 49 of the Labour Law the employment of an employee, if he is employed for an indefinite term, may be terminated by either the employer or the employee giving written notice to the other. No reason for such termination will need to be given by the party serving notice.

Notice must be at least one month for employees who have been employed by the same employer for five years and two months for employees who have been employed for more than five years.

Article 57 stipulates that upon termination the employer shall repatriate the employee within a period not exceeding two weeks from the expiry date of the contract. Seek  the Labour Department’s assistance.

Non-payment of salary is breach of contract

Question: I am working with a private construction company since November 1, 2009 as a site supervisor. As per my contract I went on my annual vacation on November 2, 2011 after two years. I came back on January 19, 2012 and joined duty on January 22, 2012. I worked with company for four months but the company didn’t pay my salaries nor any money for food. I also faced problem for transportation to my site. I asked for my salaries but the management refused. I waited for five more months for my salaries and for site instruction but there was no positive response from the management. Nine months after I resumed the company renewed my visa. But they insisted that I rejoin again but I refused as I had not been paid my salaries for five months and I had to sit in my room. Unfortunately I didn’t report the matter in the Labour Court. Now they have given my passport to the CID just to hold back my salary that I have claimed.

Answer: Since the matter is referred to the CID by the employer, everything depends on the employee establishing pending salaries, lack of transportation to the site to counter charges of absenteeism / absconding, etc. The Labour Law fairly protects the interests of both the employer and the employee.

To safeguard the interests of the employee, under Article 51 the employee has a right to terminate the contract if the employer commits a breach of obligations under the employment contract, and non-payment of salary is a clear breach. In the matter of lack of transportation to the site the law says if the worker is willing to perform the work but could not do so for reasons beyond his control, he shall be considered to have actually done the work and be entitled to all benefits accruing therefrom. However, Article 61 gives the right to the employer to terminate the employee for various reasons including non-reporting to work for more than seven days continuously or 15 days intermittently in a year.

If the matter had been reported to the Department of Labour or Human Rights Commission by the employee, the dimension of the issue would have been different. Now to defend the absconding case, organise all evidence to prove that you were not absconding but remaining at the accommodation due to non-payment of salaries.


Employee can terminate contract

Q: I am an employee of a company in Qatar. The contract says that “the duration of this contract is of indefinite duration commencing on the date of my arrival in Qatar and the first six months are considered a probation period and thereafter if completed the contract shall be in force for its unexpired term. Any parties thereto may terminate the contract without giving the reasons for the termination.” If I complete the six months probation and I decide to resign because I am not happy and satisfied with my work or some other reason that I think is valid, can I tender a resignation/termination of contract in writing to my employer by giving them at least one-month notice? Is it lawful under the Qatar Labour Laws that the employer can reject the resignation/termination of my contract?

A: Acceptance of resignation by the employer is not required to conclude termination of the employment contract. Under Article 49 of the Labour Laws, any of the two parties may terminate an employment contract of indefinite duration by appropriate notice or by payment in lieu. Accordingly an employee intending to terminate the contract shall notify the employer in writing at least one month in advance if the period of service is five years or less. When the period of service is more than five years, the notification period shall be at least two months prior to the date of termination. Article 57 stipulates that the employer should complete the proceedings of repatriation within a period not exceeding two weeks from the expiry date of the contract. Seek assistance of the Department of Labour

Workers entitled to gratuity

Q: Can a company include the end of service benefit in the daily rate of pay. I have been informed that this is against the law since 2005 yet my contract says that it is included.

A: End of service benefit is a lump sum that an employer is lawfully required to pay an employee upon the termination of the employment relationship, subject to the employee satisfying certain conditions on minimum service and reasons of termination. The benefit is to ensure that when employment relationships are terminated, employees without pension benefits receive a lump sum to assist them during the period following termination. Gratuity benefit is the entitlement of the worker at the time of termination based on the employee’s basic salary and length of service. Inclusion of the said benefit to the daily rate is not in compliance with the Labour Laws. Though alternate schemes are allowed by law, it is stipulated to recalculate the benefit even when any such a scheme has been adopted by the employer and employee during employment to ensure employee is receiving better terms.