Law No. 15 of 2016 to govern human resources and the employment of Qatari and non-Qatari employees in Ministries, Government departments and public institutions was issued by the Emir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani yesterday. The executive regulations of the new law will be issued by the Cabinet and the law will be enforced following a day after it is published in the official gazette. The new law is expected to make the existing labour law more robust and thorough. Here are 16 things that the new law will enforce and everyone in Qatar must know:-
1. The first priority for appointment to Government and public jobs will be given Qatari nationals, followed by children of Qatari women married to non-Qataris, then non-Qatari spouses of Qatari citizens, then citizens of GCC countries and Arab expats and lastly nationals of all the other countries.
2. Non-Qatari nationals will be appointed only by the means of employment contracts.
3. Some professions have been excluded from the purview of this new law these include: judges, assistant judges, members of the Public Prosecution and their assistants, employees of the Emiri Diwan, employees of the diplomatic and consulate corps, university teaching staff, Qatar Petroleum employees, Qatar Investment Authority employees and State Audit Bureau employees.
4. All public jobs will be classified and described according to a guidebook which will be prepared by the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs.
5. The new law requires all Government institutions and departments to formulate its job structure according to their needs, tasks and specialities. The structure would require to be approved by the Minister.
6. Every new appointee will join initially as a probationer for a period of 3 months at the end of which his/her performance will decide whether the services will be terminated or retained.
7. The Law has also introduced a salary structure according to the grade and class of the employment, according to which the salary for the highest level jobs will be up to QR65000 whereas the minimum possible salary has been slotted at QR2300-3000 for the lowest employment grades.
8. The Law mandates that all Government and public sector employees are entitled to allowances such as housing, social bonus, transportation and overtime bonus among others.
9. The Law also states that the Government entity for which a non-Qatari employee works will bear the travel costs if the purpose of the travel is official.
10. According to the new law employees working for Government and public sector entities are entitled to as many as 16 types of leaves such as maternity leave, sick leave, unpaid leave, and periodic leave among others.
11. The law specifies that every government employee is entitled to an annual leave of 30-45 days depending on the level at which the employee is working. Furthermore, each employee is also entitled to 7 days casual leave per year.
12. The performance of every employee must be subjected to an annual review
13. The new law mandates that disciplinary action against employees must be well documented and the employee must get a chance to duly defend himself/herself.
14. It is illegal to delay or deny allowances to an employee unless such actions are for disciplinary reasons the fault of which has been established.
15. The law stipulates many reasons for which the services of an employee may be terminated these include retirement, end of a contract, resignation, not being medically fit, penal dismissal, and loss of Qatari citizenship among others.
16. The law also mandates that the end of service gratuity is due to every non-Qatari employee who has completed a service of at least one year.