What to do if my current employer is preventing me from changing jobs in Qatar?

What to do if my current employer is preventing me from changing jobs in Qatar? By Darlene Regis - September 15, 2021

Employers' Refusal to Accept Workers' Change of Sponsorship

A year after the State of Qatar abolished the need for a No Objection Certificate (NOC) to switch jobs, migrant workers are still facing difficulties in transferring to new employers today.

In August 2020, Qatar announced landmark changes to its labour law, including scrapping the need for an NOC. In the following month, the said amendment in Qatar Labour Law was published in the Official Gazette and came into force the day after its publication.

While a number of expat workers have been successful in their job transfer, there are still those who experience delays in the process and get their applications rejected by their current employers.

“In the final quarter of 2020 [when the laws were amended], the new system contributed to over 78,000 successful job transfers,” a Qatari government spokesperson told a media entity in Qatar.

Due to the high volume of applications, the procedure of transferring to a new sponsor is reportedly taking several weeks nowadays. Some are allegedly being declined as current employers of workers who wish to change jobs in Qatar are still taking part in the approval of their job transfer applications.

How does your current employer get involved in your employment transfer?

If you are planning to move to a new employer, you no longer need an NOC to start the process. However, you must ensure compliance with the requirements around notice periods and the new electronic system provided for under the Labour Law.

Read this article for more details: How to Change Jobs in Qatar Without NOC (2021)? Here are 5 Easy Steps!

Once you’ve successfully uploaded the mandatory documents and followed the instructions as listed in the above article, the Ministry will send a text message (SMS) to your current employer informing them about your decision to transfer your sponsorship.

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.

What should I do if my current employer is preventing me from moving to another employer?

If you feel that your current employer is unfairly preventing you from changing jobs or if you need more information, contact MADLSA hotline 16008, by email (info@adlsa.gov.qa), or visit its offices.

What if my employer refuses to accept my resignation?

According to the Qatari labour law, the employee is not at fault if the employer refuses to accept his resignation, the employee is in the right as long as he has submitted a resignation that fulfils the criteria of the notice period mentioned in the employment contract.

If your employer refuses to sign your resignation letter, try to send it as an email to his/her 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.

Resigned and looking for a new recruitment company in Qatar? Seek support from B2C Solutions, the most trusted outsourcing service in Qatar.

EMPLOYER PERSPECTIVE

What procedures do I have to follow as an employer to terminate the employment contract of a worker?

After the probation period, an employer wishing to terminate the employment contract of a worker must notify the worker that he/she plans to terminate the employment contract, through ADLSA’s electronic system.

? If the worker has worked with the employer for two years or less, the notice period is 1 month.

? If the worker has worked with the employer for more than two years, the notice period is 2 months.

Note: The employer should continue to pay the wage and other benefits to the worker during the notice period, as per the employment contract.

Can an employer terminate the employment contract of a worker immediately without observing the notice period?

If the employer terminates the contract without observing the notice period, he/she must pay the worker a compensation equivalent to the worker’s basic wage for the notice period or the remaining duration of the notice period.

This is calculated as an amount equivalent to the basic wage for the remaining part of the notice period.

For example: If the worker’s basic wage is QAR 1,500 per month and the employer asks the worker to stop working two weeks before the end of a one-month notice period, the employer will have to pay the worker QAR 750 to terminate the contract legally.

Can an employer terminate the employment contract of a worker during the probation period?

An employer may terminate the employment contract of a worker during the probation period if the employer finds out that the worker is unfit to carry out his/her duties. The employer must notify the worker at least 1 month before the termination, through ADLSA’s electronic system.

Upon termination of the employment contract, if the worker is going back to his/her country, the employer must cover the expenses of the return plane ticket.

During the probation period, can an employer terminate the employment contract of a worker without observing the notice period?

If the employer asks the worker to stop working before the end of the notice period, the employer shall pay the worker for every day of the notice period the employer asked the worker not to work.

This is calculated as an amount equivalent to the basic wage for the remaining part of the notice period.

For example: If the worker’s basic wage is QAR 1,500 per month and the employer asks the worker to stop working two weeks before the end of a one-month notice period the employer will have to pay the worker QAR 750 to terminate the contract legally.

Does an employer have to pay for the return flight ticket of the worker upon termination?

The employer must complete the worker’s repatriation procedures, including bearing the cost of a return air ticket, to his/her country of residence within a maximum of two weeks from contract expiration. If the worker joins another employer before leaving the country, the repatriation obligation shall be incumbent upon the new employer.

In cases where the worker terminates the employment contract prior to its end and plans to leave Qatar while respecting the notice period (outside of the scope of amended Article 51 of the Labour Law), the employer shall cover part of the cost of the return air ticket proportional to the actual employment duration the worker completed out of the full term of the employment contract.

“Changing companies’ behaviour is not something that happens overnight but we are taking necessary measures to send a clear message that illegal activity will not be tolerated,” the official added.

“A large number of workers and employers have benefitted from the transformative new rules,” said the Head of the International Labour Organization (ILO) - Qatar, Max Tunon to the same media firm.

“When such major changes are introduced, effective implementation can take time. This is why, jointly with the government, we are constantly engaging with workers and employers and receiving feedback on the implementation of the new procedures,” Tunon furthered.

For easy guidance, it is best to consult a recruitment agency in Doha like B2C to facilitate your transfer of sponsorship. 

Read some legal articles and guidelines on Qatar Labour Law from the No. 1 leading outsourcing service in Qatar

For your recruitment or employment needs, contact B2C today.

By Darlene Regis - September 15, 2021

Leave a comment