Additional Labour Reforms in Qatar

March 16, 2020

By; Michael Earley, Senior Associate 

Qatar recently announced that effective immediately exit permits are no longer required for expatriate residents whose employment is not covered by the Labour Law (Law No. 14 of 2004). According to the announcement the following categories of expatriates will be free to leave Qatar without the need for an exit permit from their sponsor/employer:
1. Ministry and other governmental and quasi-governmental agency employees;
2. Employees of oil and gas companies operating locally;
3. Maritime and shipping company employees;
4. Farmers and other employees of agricultural companies; and
5. Other employees engaged in temporary work.

The changes also apply to domestic workers whose employment is governed by the provisions of Law No. 15 of 2017. However, prior to departing Qatar domestic workers are required to give at least 72 hours prior notice to their employers; it is unclear whether penalties or other consequences will be applied to workers who do not adhere to this requirement. Employers are still permitted to identify up to 5% of their workforce that will still require exit permits due to the level of an employee’s authority and responsibilities.

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