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    Here’s What You Need to Know About Labour Leaves in Qatar

    Whether you choose to work locally or overseas, it’s important to know that there are existing labour laws that you need to be familiar with, as these will help you make informed decisions on how you must proceed with your duties and responsibilities to your employer, without setting aside your rights as a employee.

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    And as there are specific provisions under Article 75 to 85 of the Qatar Labour Code which influence the employees’ working hours, it’s important that we also look into the official leaves which employees are entitled to for whatever reasons they have use for them.

    Here’s What You Need to Know About Labour Leaves in Qatar

    [Labour Laws] What are the Official Leaves in Qatar?

    The applicable leaves in a Muslim country such as Qatar differs slightly from non-Muslim countries because of the influence of Islamic traditions and rituals, which also affect workplace set-ups in most companies, if not all.

    Here are the official leaves of employees in Qatar:

    • Annual Leaves
      • Employees are entitled to the following annual leaves without any deductions on their compensation.
        • Eid al Fitr Leave (3 Working Days)
        • Eid Al Adha Leave (3 Working Days)
        • Independence Day Leave (1 Working Day)
        • Three (3) working days authorized by the employer

    Note/s:

    – If a worker has rendered one (1) continuous year of service, but less than five (5) years with a single employer, he/she will be entitled to an annual leave with pay for at least three (3) weeks. Meanwhile, those who have rendered service for five (5) continuous years are entitled to an annual leave with pay for at least four (4) weeks.

    – The worker is allowed to take a leave for a fraction of the year in proportion to the period of his service.

    – Also, the employer is empowered to do the following on his/her worker’s annual leave:

    • Set the dates of his/her employees’ annual leaves.
    • Split the leaves, provided that the employee agrees to it and the division is not more than two periods;
    • Delay the annual leave of the worker for not more than half of the annual leave to the year following the year of entitlement. This requires a written application of postponement from the employer.

    – The worker does not have the option to waive his entitlement to his/her annual leave.

    – If for any reason, the worker’s contract has been terminated even before he/she was able to take the leave, he/she is entitled to payment equivalent to his/her wage for the unused leave dates.

     

    • Sick Leave
      • A worker is entitled to a sick leave with pay for every year he/she works with a company.
      • A sick leave benefit may only be claimed by presenting a valid medical certificate issued by a physician and as approved by the employer.
      • If the worker’s sick leave does not exceed two weeks, he/she must be paid with full compensation, but if the leave extends beyond four weeks, the worker would still get half the amount of the wage. If the leave is further extended, the worker would no longer be compensated unless he/she returns to work, resigns, or get terminated from service.
      • If the leave extends up to twelve weeks, the employer can legally terminate the worker on grounds of a physician’s evaluation noting that the worker is no longer able to return to work from that point onward.
      • If a worker decides to resign due to sickness (as certified by a physician) before the end of the 6th week of their absence, the worker is still entitled to payment of their sick leave balance from work. This also applies to a worker who dies before the end of the sixth week of their absence due to sickness.
      • The above provisions do not affect the right of the worker for any compensation for the duration of their service while the sick leave for 12 weeks will not be considered as disruption to their service with the company.

     

    • Leave(s) for Muslim Workers
      • Muslim workers are allowed to go on a leave without pay for not more than two weeks to fulfill their pilgrimage duty once during their period of service. Also, the employer reserves the right to decide on who will be granted with such leaves, giving priority to those who have longer tenure.

     

    • Other Provisions
      • A worker on leave must not work for another employer during this period as this can be used as grounds for the employer to withhold or retrieve the wage issued to the worker, if found guilty.
      • The employer cannot terminate the worker even if with due notification during their leave from work. Furthermore, the employer cannot notify the employee of their termination if the notice period lapses while the worker is on leave.

    As employees, it is our duty to know and understand the terms and conditions of our contract as well as the governing labour laws in the country we are working in. Doing so will empower us to make informed decisions and to avoid being taken advantage of by others as well.

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