There arises a situation in people’s professional lives when they want to move on to a different employer but their current employer is refusing to accept their resignation. People in such a situation are caught in fix as they do not want to jeopardise their future employment opportunities as resigning from a previous job in a manner that may be deemed hostile can have adverse effect and reflect badly on them during a background check that a new employer may conduct. So, what is the legal and the right course of action to take in this kind of a situation?
According to the Qatari labour law, the employee is not at fault if the employer refuses to accept his resignation, the employee is in the right as long as he has submitted a resignation that fulfil the criteria of the notice period mentioned in the employment contract.
Article 49 of the current labour law states:
If the service contract is of an indefinite duration any of the two parties thereto may terminate it without giving the reasons for the termination. In this case, the party intending to terminate the contract shall notify the other party in writing as follows:
In respect of the workers who receive their wages annually or monthly, the notification shall be given not less than one month prior to the date of the termination. If the period of service is five years or less. If the period of service is more than five years, the notification period shall be at least two months prior to the date of termination.
In all other cases the notification shall be given in accordance with the following periods:
A) If the period of service is less than one year the notification period shall be at least one week.
B) If the period of service is more than one year and less than five years
C) the notification period shall be at least two weeks.
D) If the service period is more than five years the notification period shall
E) be at least one month.
If the contract is terminated without observing these periods, the party terminating the contract shall be obligated to compensate the other party for an amount equivalent to the wage for the notice period or the remaining part thereof.
The employer is also required by the law (Article 50) to pay the worker his salary in full for the notice period as long as the employee fulfils all his obligations in the usual manner. The article further states that the employer must give the employee ample time to look for a new job.
Per Article 51 of the labour law, an employee is well within his/her rights to terminate the contract before its expiry date, in case the contract is of limited duration, and the employee is not required to give any reasons to the employer for the termination and yet retain the right to end of service benefits in the following cases:
If the employer commits a breach of his obligations under the service contract or the provisions of this law.
If the employer or his responsible manager commits a physical assault or immoral act upon the worker or any of his family member.
If the employer or his representative has misled the worker at the time of entering into the service contract as to the terms and conditions of the work.
If continuance with the work endangers the safety and health of the worker provided that the employer is aware of the danger and does not take the necessary steps to remove it.
To be absolutely safe about the whole thing, if your employer is refusing to entertain your resignation even though you have followed all the rules in letter and spirit, the best thing to do would be to approach the Ministry of Labour with your complaint, to have all your bases covered.