The Ministry of Administrative Development, stomach Labour and Social Affairs (the “Ministry”) recently has introduced a streamlined online format for its employment contracts. Previously, employers and employees could agree a bespoke employment contract that would be registered with the relevant authorities as long as it complied with Law No. 14 of 2004 (the “Labour Law”). However, as a result of this recent development, an employment contract must be completed online using the standardised form.
The new online contract permits employers to enter basic information, however there is little room for amendments. The contract data which may be entered manually by the employer include contract duration, probation period, salaries and allowances. Additionally, the Ministry has provided a user manual for employers which details all the necessary steps for creating employment contracts.
While this is a positive development adopted by the Ministry to facilitate workflow and standardise the labour sector in Qatar, there are a number of additional clauses typically included in employment contracts such as restrictive covenants, confidentiality undertakings and indemnifications which do not appear in the standard form contract. Given the limited amount of information included in the online contract format, these and other provisions will have to be set out in a separate addendum to the employment contract. Although these provisions may be enforceable as a private contract between the parties, it is advisable to lodge the addendum with the contract at the Ministry to ensure that such provisions are captured as part of the larger employment package. The addendum will then be registered with the standardised contract at the Ministry.