Qatar

Currency CurrencyQatari Riyal (QAR) Working Time Work Week48 hours Employer Taxes Employer Taxes 10%

Hire in Qatar

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Qatar continues to be one of the world’s fastest-growing economies. The government’s policies on foreign investment encourage international investors to make use of the various local investment opportunities – investments in the oil and gas sector are the most prominent.  

Hiring Qatari workers as a foreign employer is simplified by the fact that English is one of the country’s major languages. The absence of a tax levy on employment income and the low social security contribution rates are further factors in favor of hiring in Qatar.

Basic Facts about Qatar

  1. official state name State of Qatar
  2. capital Doha
  3. population 2.79 million
  4. languages Arabic
  5. currency Qatari Riyal (QAR)
  6. time zone UTC +3

Employment Contract

Employment contracts must be in writing. The mandatory contract language is Arabic but an official translation into a foreign language may be added to the original contract. Contracts can either be concluded for an indefinite or a definite term. The duration of the latter shouldn’t exceed 5 years. 

The following details must be included in any employment contract: 

  • Identification of both parties (including qualification and profession of the employee)
  • Date of conclusion and commencement (and employment duration for temporary contracts) 
  • Workplace
  • Job description, duties and responsibilities
  • Salary, payment method and pay date

It is common to also include information on annual leave, working hours and more.

Probation Period

Probationary periods are limited to a maximum of 6 months. During this time, the notice period is shortened to 3 days. 

Working time

Working Hours and Breaks

Standard working hours shouldn’t exceed 48 hours per week over 6 working days (from Saturday to Thursday). In most businesses, Friday is the official weekly day off. After 5 hours of work, employees are entitled to a 60-minute break which is unpaid. Please note that working hours during Ramadan are reduced to a daily maximum of 6 hours and 36 hours per week. 

Overtime

Working hours exceeding the standard 48-hour week are considered as overtime and must be remunerated at a rate of no less than 125% of the employee’s usual wages. Employees are not allowed to work for more than 10 hours per day.  

Payroll

Employees must be paid at least once per month. 

Minimum Wage

Since March 2021, the monthly minimum wage in Qatar is set at QAR 1,000 which is to be supplemented by the employer with a monthly accommodation allowance of QAR 500 and a monthly food allowance of QAR 300.   

Sick Pay

After 3 months of service and upon presentation of a medical certificate, employees are eligible for paid sick leave. The first 2 weeks of sick leave are fully paid. During the following 4 weeks, the employee receives 50% of their usual wages. Any sick leave exceeding 6 weeks is unpaid. Sick leave is limited to 12 weeks in total.

Bonuses

There is no legal obligation to pay employees a 13th salary or similar bonus. 

Taxes and Social Security Contribution

Employees and employers in Qatar are subject to the following tax and social security contribution rates (rates valid for 2021):

taxes
employers

Corporate tax rate: 10%

VAT (standard rate): n.a.

employees
Qatar doesn’t levy tax on employment income. 
social security
employers

10% of employee salary 

Applies only to Qatari employees.

employees

5% of employee salary 

Applies only to Qatari employees

Employee Benefits

Annual Leave

After having completed their first year of service, employees gain the right to 3 weeks of paid annual leave. After 5 years of service, the annual leave entitlement increases to 4 weeks. In addition, employees are entitled to 10 paid holidays every year, 3 of which are determined by the employer.

Maternity Leave and Paternity Leave

Female employees who have been working for their employer for at least 1 year are entitled to 50 days of maternity leave which is split into 15 days of prenatal and 35 days of postnatal leave. 

Fathers are allowed to take between 3 and 5 days of paternity leave.

Parental Leave

After returning to work, female employees have the right to take 1 hour of paid leave every day in order to nurse their newborn child. 

Additional Leave and Benefits

Furthermore, employees can request additional paid leave under the following circumstances:

  • Death of a direct family member: 7 days
  • Marriage: 3 days

The law also provides for a 2-week Haji leave which can be taken once in a lifetime to complete the pilgrimage to Mecca.

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Employment termination

Indefinite employment contracts can be terminated by either party without having to indicate a reason. The length of the notice period depends on the employee’s seniority: 

  • Up to 5 years of service: 1 month’s notice
  • More than 5 years of service: 2 months’ notice

No notice must be given in case of a summary dismissal due to gross misconduct (identity fraud, abuse of trust etc.). Also, notice periods are shorter for employees who receive their wages in shorter intervals than once per month. There are additional rules and regulations concerning the termination of fixed-term contracts

Employees who have completed at least 1 year of service with the employer (and who are not dismissed due to gross misconduct) are entitled to a service gratuity payment equal to 3 weeks’ wages for each year of service. 

Hiring in Qatar?

Not sure if you should start with a contractor or go ahead and hire a full-time teammate in Qatar? The Lano platform makes it easy to go from freelance to full-time employee. Get expert guidance from the Lano team to compare your options and keep growing.