The new law that regulates the entry, exit and residency of expatriates in Qatar is set to come into force in December.
The new law abolishes the current two-year ban on expatriates who want to come back to the country on a new visa. Presently it requires a no-objection certificate from the previous employer for a former resident to take up a new job in Qatar.
The new law abolishes kafala (sponsorship system), a person who had previously worked in Qatar would not have to seek the approval of his former sponsor if he is recruited by a new employer.
A foreign worker who has got a new contract to work in Qatar can come back even the next day, provided he has met the other requirements like visa.
According to Article 26 of the new law, if a foreign worker is fired as a punitive measure and he did not appeal his dismissal or his plea was rejected by a court, he shall not be permitted to come back to Qatar before the passage of four years.
Also, an expatriate worker repatriated upon a court verdict cannot come back unless he got the approval of the Minister of Interior.
An employee can return to the country two or three days after his departure to take up a new job if he gets a new contract and fulfils entry visa requirements and if there is no court verdict against him. However, this does not apply to those who are deported by a court order.
The new law has raised the fine on the employer for keeping employees’ passports from QR10,000 to QR25,000. An employer can keep the passport of his employee only upon a written request from the employee.
All expatriate workers will sign new job contracts with their employers after the new law comes into force because the law does not apply to existing job contracts.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO YOUR EXISTING JOB CONTRACT?
After ministry approval your existing contract will be replace by new contract as per new labor law.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO YOUR CONTRACT TERM?
After signing new contract, there will be no changes in your contract term/period. The working period will be counted from the date you joined the company.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO YOUR BENEFITS (LEAVE SALARY/END OF SERVICE BENEFITS)?
All your benefits as per your current contract will carry forward until you’re working in same company.
Worker contract term is 2 years. After 10 months compilation, if he/she terminate the contract and leave the country. He/she will be ban for next 14 months.
Open or Unlimited Contract.
Worker contract term is unlimited (5 years). After 3 years compilation, if he/she terminate the contract and leave the country. He/she will be ban for next 2 years.
The changes are just a beginning of the reformation process. The changes that are set to transform worker lives in Qatar once the new law is enforced are:
1. Employment of expats in Qatar would now be entirely governed by contracts.
2. The post-residency restrictions have been scrapped, the previous restrictions imposed a two-year ban on a new work visa; such restrictions will no longer be legal.
3. No approval from former employer if he is recruited by a new employer
4. Worker who has got a new contract to work in Qatar can come back even on the next day.
5. Exit permit will not be required for travel it will become invalid with enforcement of new law.
6. To leave country employee needs to inform his employer before three days and apply through in Metrash 2 system.
7. All employment contracts of all expatriate workers who are already here will be replaced with new contracts by the end of this year.
8. Date he has signed the fresh employment contract will be the date from his contract would be counted.
9. Employment contract has to be approved by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.
10. Closed contracts shall not exceed a period of five years.
11. Employees with Open-ended contracts can move to another employer after spending a minimum of five years with the first employer.
12. Workers with fixed job contracts can change their work and sign new contracts if they wish so at the end of the contract period without any NOC but approval from the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.
13. An expat can also move to another sponsor with the approval of MOI and MOLSA if the sponsor is dead or the company no longer exists for any reason.
14. QR50, 000 fine and jail terms of up to three years for recruiters who allow their employees to work for other parties without prior official approval.
15. QR10, 000 to QR25, 000 fine for keeping passport of expatriate employee.