Updated qatar labor law: The month of December has started on a very high note for the expats. This is as a result of the excitement that has been brought by the new residency law, which will be implemented on December 13.
One of the provisions of Law No 21 of 2015 is that the expats’ service period will be calculated from the time they started working for an employer. This will include the total number of days that expatriates have worked, before the new law is implemented. This is a statement that has been issued by the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs (MOLSA). Law No 21 is responsible for the entry, residency and exit of expatriates.
Moving from One Job to Another
According to this new law, an expat will not need permission from their existing employer to move to a new job. However, they must have finished the contract period that they had agreed before changing jobs.
For the employees on fixed contracts, they are required to give a notice, in writing to their employers indicating their intention to move to a new job, before expiry of the contract period. Expats who have an open-ended contract will change jobs at will, without seeking the approval of their employers, as long as they have completed a 5- year service period.
All the expats who intend to move to a new job should get approval from the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs, before moving.
If the contract has not come to an end, the worker needs to seek permission from the employer before moving. However, when there is proof of being mistreated, then the workers have the right to ask MOLSA to grant them employment transfer.
With the new rule, the workers from foreign countries have the right to get a copy of the job contract before leaving their home country. This is aimed at curbing the incidences of being promised one job, and ending up being given a totally different job, when you get into the country.
The new law also wants to eradicate the Kafala system and replace it with a system that is contractually based. As such the foreign workers in Qatar have the right to exit the country before the contract period expires, or when the contract ends. The exit terms should be stipulated in the contract. In the event that the employer refuses to grant the worker the requests to leave, an appeal can be placed to the Exit Permit Grievances Committee, which has 72 hours to respond to all requests.
Answers to Common Questions
How do expats apply for exit permit with the new law?
The first and most important thing is to note that the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs will subject the workers and employers to have a contract agreement on the annual leave. When you want an exit permit, you must place it in writing to your employer.
Often, employers will not have a problem approving an exit permit. However, if the employer rejects the requests, you can apply to the Exit Permit Grievances Committee and they will respond in 3 days, maximum.
One of the obligations of the committee is to do an investigation on the expat and contact the employers so as to establish the reason for rejecting the exit request. If there is no commitment of fraud, which an employer has to prove, the exit permit will be granted.
What happens if the Committee cannot reach employer?
In the event that MOLSA cannot reach the employer within 3 days, the exit permit will be issued. This is subject to passing all the relevant checks conducted by the committee.
How do I get an emergency exit permit in Qatar?
3 days is the maximum time frame that the Exit Permit Grievances Committee has to work with. However, this does not stop it from acting much faster, in the event of an emergency. The process can be expedited to suit the worker’s emergency.
Who sits in the Exit Permit Grievances Committee?
The committee is made of representatives of National Human Rights Committee, MOLSA and Mol. When evidence is presented against a worker, the committee will accord the worker the opportunity to defend themselves. Additionally, the committee may also allow a worker to apply for leniency when they owe some money, but have a family emergency that they need to attend to in their country of origin.
In most cases, the committee has been seen to arrive at decisions that favor the workers willing to exit the country.
If a worker is denied an exit permit, will the family members be affected?
In the event that an expat is not granted a work permit, the family members are free to leave at will. However, if they are implicated in the cases affecting the worker, they will also be required to stay in the country.
Is there a time frame before taking a new job after exiting the country?
When you leave Qatar and your work and residency permits are terminated, you can come back and get a job, as soon as you get a new visa. This means that you are not restricted from coming back and taking employment. However, if you had misconduct in the previous employment, this will not be applicable.
How long does it to get another job, when a contract ends?
Once your current contract expires or is terminated, you should notify MOLSA and you will be given 3 months to find a job. Once you get a new job, you should take the contract details to MOLSA so that your employment status can be updated. If you do not find work within the 3 months, you have to leave the country.
Source: Qatar Living