How to Hire in Qatar

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Hiring in Qatar - Brief Overview

Qatar stands out globally as a hub of resources and expertise, bolstering its reputation as a top destination for skilled talent, ranking 3rd globally and 42nd in the Human Development Index. Supported by cutting-edge educational facilities, robust research initiatives, and a commitment to business excellence, Qatar fosters a high level of innovation. It serves as a magnet for the brightest minds worldwide. With its open economy and favorable conditions for investors, international companies can thrive in a knowledge-driven environment, offering their employees access to top-tier education, training, and research opportunities.

Facts & Stats

Population

2.73M

Caspital City

Doha

Languages Spoken

Arabic

Currency

Qatar Riyal (QAR)

GDP Per Capita

$81,339

Ease of Doing Business

77th in the world

Minimun Wage

QAR 1,800/ month

Average Wage

QAR 15,800/month

Paid Leave

28 days of paid annual leave

Labor Laws in Qatar

Here's a breakdown of some key aspects:

Qatarization 

Over the past few decades, Qatar has risen to prominence in the oil and gas industry, leveraging its vast hydrocarbon reserves to fuel impressive economic growth. Qatar has launched a strategic initiative called Qatarization to foster sustainable development within this sector and empower its citizens. This program aims to localize the workforce by increasing the number of Qatari nationals employed in key positions across the industry.

The key aspects of Qatarization include:

1. Education and Training: Providing Qataris with the necessary education and vocational training to qualify for specialized roles in various industries.

2. Employment Targets: Setting specific targets for the proportion of Qatari employees within companies, particularly in strategic sectors.

3. Partnerships: Collaborating with businesses, educational institutions, and government agencies to create pathways for Qataris to enter and progress in the workforce.

4. Support and Incentives: Offering support and incentives to companies actively participating in the Qatarization initiative, such as tax breaks or other benefits.

The overarching goal of Qatarization is to build a sustainable and skilled Qatari workforce, thereby enhancing national self-reliance and economic resilience.

Working Hours in Qatar

In Qatar, the legal maximum working hours per week are 48. During Ramadan, working hours are reduced to 36 hours per week. Employees are entitled to at least one hour break if they work more than 5 consecutive hours, which is not included in their working hours. Additionally, all employees are guaranteed at least one rest day per week, commonly observed on Fridays, with the restriction that they cannot work more than two consecutive Fridays.

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Minimum Wage Requirements

The current minimum wage in Qatar stands at QAR 1,800 per month, approximately USD 490, applicable to all workers. Employers are also required to provide accommodation, a QAR 500 monthly allowance, food, or a QAR 300 monthly allowance unless these provisions are already included in the employment agreement.

Individual Income Tax

Residents and citizens of Qatar benefit from a tax-free income system; the government levies no personal income tax on individuals' earnings. This policy supports a favorable environment for workers and businesses, attracting talent worldwide to contribute to Qatar's growing economy.

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Overtime Pay & Maximum Hours

Overtime work in Qatar is any work exceeding the standard hours of 48 or 36 hours per week during Ramadan. Overtime is compensated at a rate of at least 125% of the base salary. For work performed between 9 pm and 3 am, the rate increases to a minimum of 150% of the base salary. Total daily working hours, including overtime, should not exceed 10 hours.

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Navigating Employment Taxes in Qatar

Here's a breakdown of the tax landscape in Qatar:

Employer Tax Contributions

5% – 8%.

Qatar Labour Law Monthly Contribution and QFC Employment Regulation Monthly Contribution

Employer Tax

10%

Qatar Labour Law Monthly Contribution/QFC Employment Regulation Monthly Contribution

Individual Tax

0%

Qatar does not impose taxes on employment income.

Pension in Qatar

Pension in Qatar Qatari government employees are eligible for a state pension at age 60 for men and 55 for women after completing 15 years of contributions. They also have the option to retire early at 40, provided they meet the same contribution period. Contributions are structured with employees contributing 7%, employers 14%, and additional government contributions bringing the total to 21%.

Understanding Employment Termination in Qatar

Termination of employment in Qatar requires a clear understanding of local labor laws and regulations. Here’s what you need to know about ending an employment contract in Qatar:

Termination Process

In Qatar, initiating the dismissal process requires a mandatory termination notice from the employer or the employee. The specifics of these procedures depend on factors such as:

  • Employment and collective agreements.
  • Contract type and the reason for termination.

Notice Period

Their length of service determines the required notice period for employees in Qatar:

  • 30 days' notice for employees with 1 to less than 5 years of service.
  • 60 days' notice for employees with more than 5 years of service.

Probation Period

In Qatar, probation periods are compulsory. Typically, these periods range from 3 to 6 months.

Severance Pay

Employees in Qatar are eligible for severance pay after completing one year of continuous service. The severance amount is based on the employee's final wage, equating to at least three weeks of the basic wage for each year of service.

Leaves and Company Policies in Qatar

Here's an overview of the various types of leaves and their corresponding regulations:

Annual Leave

The annual leave entitlement in Qatar is 21 days for a full-time worker. These can include public holidays on top of that or within those days, which would otherwise be unpaid.

Public Holidays

Date Day Holiday Name
January 1 Monday New Year's Day
February 13 Tuesday National Sport Day
April 10 Wednesday Eid al-Fitr
April 11 Thursday Eid al-Fitr Holiday
April 12 Friday Eid al-Fitr Holiday
June 16 Sunday Eid al-Adha
June 17 Monday Eid al-Adha Holiday
June 18 Tuesday Eid al-Adha Holiday
December 18 Wednesday National Day

Maternity Leave

Female employees in Qatar are entitled to a minimum of 50 days of fully paid maternity leave, including prenatal and postnatal periods. The postnatal period should not be less than 35 days.

Paternity Leave

Male employees in Qatar are not mandated to have paternity leave under the Labour Law. However, some employers may offer it based on company policies. It's common for employers to grant five days of leave to fathers after their child's birth.

Sick Leave

After three months of service, an employee in Qatar is entitled to paid sick leave as follows:

  • Fully paid sick leave for the first 14 days.
  • 50% of salary for the next 4 weeks.
  • Any extension beyond the regular 6 weeks will be unpaid.

Bereavement Leave

Employees are entitled to seven days of leave in the event of a direct family member’s death. 

Marriage Leave

In the event of marriage, an employee is entitled to five days of leave

Frequently asked questions

1. What makes Iris unique for hiring in Qatar?

Iris offers an advanced AI talent intelligence platform with features like an AI job description generator, AI video interviews, and an advanced applicant tracking system (ATS). Additionally, Iris supports personalized outreach and payroll management, making it a comprehensive solution for hiring skilled professionals in Qatar.

2. Why is Qatarization important for employers in Qatar?

Qatarization is vital for employers in Qatar because it ensures compliance with government mandates regarding workforce composition, which include specific quotas for Qatari nationals in critical positions. The government offers various incentives, such as tax breaks and other benefits, to companies that meet Qatarization targets. By investing in the local workforce, employers also contribute to long-term business stability, reducing reliance on expatriate labor and ensuring continuity as the national workforce grows in expertise and experience.

3. What are the key labor laws employers should know in Qatar?

Employers in Qatar need to be familiar with several essential labor laws. Employment contracts must be in writing and specify terms such as job description, salary, working hours, and duration of employment. The standard workweek is 48 hours, with a maximum of 8 hours per day, and during Ramadan, working hours are reduced to 36 hours per week. Employers must adhere to the national minimum wage laws and provide end-of-service benefits, which entitle employees to a gratuity after completing at least one year of service. Occupational safety and health regulations require employers to provide a safe working environment, and discrimination based on race, gender, religion, or nationality is prohibited.

4. How does termination of employment work in Qatar?

The notice period depends on the length of service: employees with 1 to less than five years of service require a 30-day notice, while those with more than five years of service require a 60-day notice. Termination must be for valid reasons, such as misconduct, incompetence, or economic reasons. Employees are entitled to severance pay if they have completed at least one year of continuous service, typically calculated as three weeks' worth of the employee’s final basic wage for each year of service. Employers must settle all dues at termination, including salary, unused leave, and any other entitlements.

5. What are the leave policies and entitlements in Qatar?

In Qatar, employees are entitled to various leave policies and entitlements. After one year of service, employees are entitled to three weeks (21 days) of paid annual leave, which increases to four weeks (28 days) after five years of service. Employees are also entitled to sick leave with a medical certificate, with the first two weeks fully paid, the next four weeks at half pay, and any additional sick leave potentially unpaid. Female employees are entitled to 50 days of paid maternity leave, which can be taken before and after childbirth. Employees are entitled to paid leave on public holidays, including Eid Al-Fitr, Eid Al-Adha, and National Day. Additionally, Muslim employees are entitled to two weeks of unpaid leave to perform Hajj, once during their employment tenure.

6. How can I get started with Iris for hiring in Qatar?

To start with Iris for hiring in Qatar, you can book a demo or sign up directly through the platform. Iris offers a range of benefits to help you streamline the hiring process. From job description generation to payroll management, Iris makes building a team of skilled professionals in Qatar easier.