Work place injuries are not as rare as one thinks and anyone can get injured at work as most of these are accidental in nature. However, if misfortune befalls anyone and he or she gets injured at work, there are specific provisions in the Qatar Labour Law that dictate the rights of injured employee and the duty of the employer towards the injured employee.
What is workplace injury?
Any injury that is caused by accident while performing one’s duties at the workplace or because of performing one’s duties at the workplace are termed as workplace injuries. Workplace injuries can be minor or even fatal.
What Qatar Labour Law says about workplace injuries?
The law makes it amply clear that the employer must put in place all the necessary safety measures such that workers do not get injured in any way while carrying out their duties. Article 100 of the Labour Law states, “The employer shall take all precautionary measures for protecting the workers during the work from any injury or disease that may result from the work performed in his establishment or from any accident, defect or breakdown in the machinery and equipment therein or from fire. The employer may not burden the worker with or deduct from his wage any sum in return for his providing these precautionary means.”
The law mandates that if any employer is found to be in contravention of the law and does not provide the necessary safety measures, the employer may face partial or total closure unless the safety issues are addressed and the employer will also have to pay the wage of the workers in full during the period of closure.
Furthermore, Article 108 stipulates that any incident of workplace injury or death, the employer or his representative must immediately inform the police and the labour department about the incident. After receiving the information about the incident the Police would carry out an investigation to establish the nature of the incident and its relation with the work.
What about compensation?
The Law makes it clear that the employer must bear the cost of the medical treatment required by an injured worker, who shall be entitled to such treatment according to his condition and based on the expert opinion of a competent medical authority.
Article 109 of the law further stipulates that the [injured] worker shall receive his full wage during the treatment period or the period of six months whichever is nearer. If the treatment continues beyond six months then the worker shall be paid half of his wage until his recovery or proof of his permanent disability or death whichever is nearer.
Article 110 of the current Labour law of Qatar mandates that, “In case a worker dies or becomes partially/permanently disabled due to an injury caused in the workplace, the heirs of the worker are entitled to receive compensation. The amount of compensation would be calculated according to the provisions of Islamic Sharia, in case of a death of a worker.”
The law further states that if work injury results in a total permanent disability, the same shall be considered as a death of the worker and compensation must be awarded in accordance with the above mentioned principles.
Can compensation be denied?
The law has enshrined protections for the employer as well. It is made clear in the article 111 of the law, when an employer can deny paying any compensation to an injured worker, the following conditions must be proved:
The worker had intended to injure himself.
The worker was at the time of occurrence of the injury or death under the influence of a drug or liquor and that the said influence was the cause of the injury or death.
The worker violated the instructions of the employer concerning the preservation of vocational health or safety or committed a gross negligence in the carrying out of these instructions.
If the worker without a genuine cause refuses to subject himself to the check-up or adopt the treatment prescribed to him by the competent authority.
Is there a set period during which compensation must be claimed?
Yes, an injured worker or his/her legal heirs in case of death due to injury must file a claim for compensation during a set period as set in the Article 113 of the Labour Law. The article states, “The right of the worker to claim compensation for the disability or death shall extinguish by the lapse of one year from the date of the medical report containing the occurrence of the disability resulting from the injury or the confirmation of the occurrence of the disability because of any of the occupational diseases contained in schedule No. (1) of this Law or from the date of the death of the worker.”