Following the adoption on 30 August 2020 of Law No. 18 of 2020, migrant workers can now change jobs before the end of their contract without first having to obtain a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from their employer.
While the removal of NOC covers all workers, the rules to end an employment contract and change jobs differ for different categories of workers.
Here is a detailed explanation provided by the Ministry of Administrative Development Labour and Social Affairs on their website:
If you are a private-sector worker covered by the Labour Law No 14 of 2004
What procedure do I have to follow to change employer?
1. First, notify your current employer that you plan to terminate your contract and change job, through ADLSA’s electronic system. The period from the day you inform your employer until the day you leave is called the notice period. You have to continue working with your current employer during this time.
If you have worked with the employer for two years or less, you have to notify your employer 1 month before leaving the job.
If you have worked with the employer for more than two years, you have to notify your employer 2 months before leaving the job.
2. Second, submit a form to change jobs through the electronic notification system of the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs (ADLSA), and attach the following 2 documents:
Copy of your contract with the former employer which has been attested by ADLSA
Letter in Arabic from your new employer confirming your hiring and addressed to ADLSA
3. Third, upon receiving an SMS from ADLSA confirming the change of employment, talk to your new employer to ensure he/she fills the contract information through ADLSA’s Digital Authentication System for a Multi-lingual Employment Contract. After filling the information, the new employer will print the employment contract to be signed by both of you, and then will upload the signed copy with the other required documents on to the digital platform.
Upon ADLSA’s confirmation to the new employer that the employment contract has been authenticated, your new employer must pay the fees for contract authentication and print the authenticated employment contract, which will be automatically sent to the Ministry of Interior’s programme for ID issuance purposes. Your new employer should give you a copy. You can also download a copy through the platform.
4. Finally, the new employer will log into the Ministry of Interior’s Metrash services webpage to request a new Qatari ID card (QID). Your employer will receive an approval for the new QID from the Ministry of Interior. You should receive your new QID and a valid health card from your new employer.
Do I have to follow the same procedure to change jobs during my probation period?
It may be stipulated in your employment contract that you shall be subject to a probation period agreed upon with your employer, provided that the probation period does not exceed six months from the date of commencement of your work. You shall not be subject to more than one probation period with the same employer. You may terminate the employment contract within the probation period, provided you comply with the following:
Notify your current employer at least one month before you plan to leave your current job, through ADLSA’s electronic system.
Your new employer must compensate your current employer a portion of the recruitment fees and one-way air ticket at the level that was agreed to by the current and new employers, not exceeding two months of your current basic wage.
What happens if I do not complete the notice period with my current employer?
If you decide to stop working before the end of your notice period, you will have to pay your current employer for every day of the notice period you do not work.
This is calculated as an amount equivalent to your basic wage for the remaining part of the notice period on a pro rata basis.
For example: If you want to stop working two weeks before the end of your notice period and your basic wage is QAR 1,500 per month, you will have to pay your employer QAR 750 to terminate the contract legally.
Do I need to pay or reimburse my new employer for any administrative costs for the change of employer?
No, the procedure to change employer is free of charge for workers. You do not need to pay or reimburse any amount to your new employer for the issuance of a new QID and health card either.
Will I be able to change my job if there is a non-compete clause in my employment contract?
Your employer can only include a non-compete clause in your employment contract if the nature of your work puts you in a position to know the clients of the employer or the secrets of the business. This means that after your contract termination, you cannot compete with the employer or take part in any competing business in the same economic sector. The duration of the non-compete clause cannot exceed one year from the date of leaving your employment.
ADLSA will issue a regulation to further clarify the provisions related to the non-compete clauses.
Can I get my end of service benefits if I change employer?
If you have completed at least one year of employment and want to change employer, you have the right to receive from your current employer your end of service benefits along with any accrued annual leave and other benefits as stated in your employment contract.
If I have not been paid my wages, do I still have to give notice before changing jobs?
If your current employer has not fulfilled his/her legal obligations (including payment of wages), then you can change jobs without giving any notice as per amended Article (51) of the Labour Law. You should submit a complaint with the Labour Relations Department of ADLSA. Remember you have the full right to obtain your due wages, end of service gratuity (if more than one year of service) and any pro rata annual leave due. You also have the right to receive the cost of a plane ticket back to your country if you choose to leave Qatar.
Can I just leave Qatar and come back again to start a new job?
If you leave Qatar without giving a notification or completing your notice period, you will not be able to return to work in Qatar for one year. In order to avoid such situation, you should follow the below procedures:
If you wish to leave Qatar during your probation period:
You should notify your employer through ADLSA’s electronic system. The notice period should be agreed with your employer but should not be more than two months.
If you wish to leave without finishing your notice period, you should pay compensation to your employer amounting to your basic wage for the remaining part of the notice period, provided that this amount does not exceed two months' basic wages.
If you wish to leave Qatar after your probation period:
If you have worked with the employer for two years or less, you have to notify your employer one month before leaving the job, through ADLSA’s electronic system.
If you have worked with the employer for more than two years, you have to notify your employer two months before leaving the job, through ADLSA’s electronic system.
If you wish to leave Qatar without observing the above notice period, you should pay the employer a compensation amounting to your basic wage for the remaining part of the notice period.
Can my employer terminate my employment contract?
Yes, your employer can also terminate your employment contract.
1. During the probation period, if your employer finds you “unfit to carry out your work duties” as stipulated in your employment contact, your employer can terminate the contract but must notify you at least one month before the termination through ADLSA’s electronic system. If upon the termination of the employment contract you decide to go back to your country of residence, the employer must cover the expenses of the return plane ticket.
2. After the probation period, if your employer wants to terminate your employment contract he/she must notify you through ADLSA’s electronic system.
If you have worked with the employer for two years or less, the notice period is one month.
If you have worked with the employer for more than two years, the notice period is two months.
Both you and your employer must uphold the terms and conditions of the employment contract during the notice period.
Can my employer terminate my employment contract without observing the notice period?
If the employer terminates your contract without observing the notice period, he/she must pay you a compensation equivalent to your basic wage for the notice period or the remaining part of the notice period.
For example: If your basic wage is QAR 1,500 per month and your employer asks you to stop working two weeks before the end of a one-month notice period your employer will have to pay you QAR 750 to terminate the contract legally.
Does my employer have to pay for my return flight ticket to my country of residence upon the termination of the employment contract?
Your employer must complete your repatriation procedures, including bearing the cost of a return air ticket, to your country of residence within a maximum of two weeks from your contract expiration. If you join another employer before leaving the country, the repatriation obligation shall be incumbent upon the new employer.
In cases where you terminate the contract and plan to leave Qatar while respecting the notice period (outside of the scope of the amended Article 51 of the Labour Law), your employer shall only cover part of the cost of the return air ticket proportional to the employment duration you completed out of the full term of the contract.
For example: If you terminate your two-year employment contract after working for one year, the employer shall cover half of the total cost of the return flight ticket.
For workers covered by special laws
What are the rules to terminate and change jobs for domestic workers?
The rules for terminating and changing jobs for domestic workers are the same as for workers covered by the Labour Law No. 14 of 2004. An updated standard employment contract for domestic workers reflecting those rules is forthcoming. However, remember that the probation period for domestic workers cannot exceed 3 months. In addition, a domestic worker can only have one probation period with the same employer.
Employers of domestic workers may unilaterally terminate the employment contract without notice and without granting end of service gratuity for the year of dismissal, if the worker does not abide by the obligations stipulated in the employment contract or those described in Articles (16) and (11) of Law No. 15 of 2017 on Domestic Workers.
In addition, domestic workers may unilaterally terminate their employment contract anytime during the contract period without notice and while keeping their right to an end of service gratuity, pro rata annual leave dues, as well as a return plane ticket back to his/her country of origin, in cases specified by Article 17 of Law No. 15 of 2017 on Domestic Workers.
What are the rules to terminate and change jobs for agricultural and grazing workers, and fishermen?
The rules for terminating and changing jobs for agricultural and grazing workers, as well as fishermen, are exactly the same as for private sector worker covered by the Labour Law No. 14 of 2004. If you need more details, check the Council of Ministers Resolution No. 17 of 2012 on the application of some provisions of the Labour Law No. 14 of 2004 to workers in agriculture and grazing.
What should I do if my current employer is preventing me from moving to another employer or if I need more information?
If you feel that your current employer is unfairly preventing you from changing jobs or if you need more information, contact the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs Labour Relations Department on the hotline (16008), by email (firstname.lastname@example.org), or visit our offices.
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