Qatar Labor Law: NOC Guide 2021
The abolishment of No Objection Certificate (NOC) to change jobs in Qatar still remains a frequently discussed topic in the country, which stirs confusion among expatriate workers who are planning to shift careers today.
To shed light on this issue, the Ministry of Interior (MoI) officials recently clarified in one of its latest awareness webinars, that NOC would not be required for changing jobs.
However, the worker must ensure compliance with the requirements around notice periods and the new electronic system provided for under the Labour Law.
How does this actually work?
On 5 September 2020, the Minister of Administrative Department, Labour and Social Affairs (MADLSA) issued a new process in changing jobs without obtaining an NOC from the current employer. Here’s how:
Note: Steps below apply to private sector workers covered by Labour Law No. 14 of 2004, agricultural and grazing workers, domestic workers, and fishermen.
1. Inform your employer.
Notify your current employer about your decision to quit via the electronic notification system of ADLSA.
However, take note that you are required to serve the notice period based on how long you’ve worked for your current employer:
• 1-month notice if you have been in the job for 2 years or less
• 2-month notice if you have been in the job for more than 2 years
2. Complete the necessary documents.
• Change Employer Form - download, fill out, and sign this form from this link. Then, have it signed and stamped by your new employer.
• Copy of your Employment Contract - this must be signed by your current employer and authenticated by ADLSA. In absence of a contract copy, you may provide your old Employment Offer. (Note: In some cases, the application is approved even without this)
• Copy of your New Employer’s Job Offer (in Arabic)
• Resignation Letter - this must be signed and stamped by your former employer
• For specialized professions - attach a certified copy of your educational certificate and a license of practice from the concerned authorities in your country
Tip: If your employer refuses to sign your resignation letter, try to send it as an email to the employer's official email address and attach the screenshot of the email. Make sure that the date, email address, and content should be clearly shown in the screenshot.
Note: This is not an official instruction but has worked for many people.
3. Wait for ADLSA’s approval.
Once you’ve successfully uploaded the mandatory documents as listed above, the Ministry will send a text message (SMS) to your current employer informing them about your decision to transfer your sponsorship.
You would be placed under the Ministry’s assessment during this time period. This means you should remain in your current company until the end of the assessment. Note: Your current employer can always raise queries regarding the same via email or hotline numbers that are available.
Note: Due to the high volume of applications, this process is reportedly taking several weeks nowadays. So, please be patient if you don't get an immediate response).
The Ministry has appointed a special committee to look after the smooth processing of the application. Upon processing your application, the Ministry will send an SMS to you and your current employer, notifying that your notice period has started.
4. Wait as your new employer initiates your new contract.
At the end of your notice period, your new employer should initiate the electronic employment contract on ADLSA’s Digital Authentication System.
5. Sign your new employment contract.
After your new employer prints your job contract, you need to discuss it and sign it.
6. Let your new employer upload your contract.
Your new employer is required to upload your signed contract to the ADLSA system. A fee of QAR60 is applicable.
7. Have your new QID processed.
Once your contract is authenticated, your new employer should apply for your new Qatar ID (QID) via Metrash2 or MoI website. Upon completion of this, your new employer can have you onboard. Your new employer would issue your QID and health card.
Note: You and your new employer can download a copy of your employment contract at all times through the Digital Authentication System.
As to the question, “Why do other companies still require an NOC in changing jobs in Qatar?” MoI stated that if a company is requiring an NOC, the worker must be able to provide as required and follow the above mentioned steps in shifting jobs.
Here are some sample job posts that require (and not require) an NOC in shifting jobs in Qatar today:
Below is a sample format of an NOC. You can have it printed, translated in Arabic, and signed by the employer before submitting for your transfer of sponsorship process.
Read some legal articles and guidelines on Qatar Labour Law from the No. 1 leading outsourcing service in Qatar.
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