Get to Know the Guidelines: Imposing Penalties (Salary Deduction) for Employee in Qatar
QUESTION: I work with a contracting company which has seen some management changes recently. The new management has started imposing penalties like salary deduction on staff for not following company rules to the letter. If staff members are late even by a minute, their salary is deducted – in case of the first late arrival, a quarter of the day’s wages is deducted, and on second time, half of the day’s wages is withheld. In case of a third time, a full day’s salary is deducted. This is despite the staff member working during the day.
We also work extra hours to complete our assignments. Neither the extra hours are compensated against late reporting nor overtime is paid for staff. - AH, Doha.
ANSWER: Article 58, 61, 62 of the Labour Laws and Ministerial Decision No 7 of 2005 provides guideline on imposition of penalties. Under Article 58, an employer employing 10 workers or more shall make penalties regulations specifying the violations and the penalties to be inflicted on the workers who commit these violations and the conditions and procedures for the infliction thereof.
Any penalty guideline for late reporting at work is not provided in the Labour Law or in the subsequent Ministerial decision issued. Accordingly, approval from Labour Department is mandatory for imposing any penalty against an employee who report late for work.
Otherwise than for absenteeism, Qatar’s Labour Law does not provide any penalty directives. Article 61 provides employer the right to terminate the employee from services if days of absence exceed seven days consecutively or 15 days intermittent in a year.
Report the matter to the Labour Department and seek its assistance. The Labour Department considers various aspects, including nature of employment while according its approvals on penalty regulations. However, as per law, the employee must be informed of any accusation against him and given due opportunity to respond before any penalty is imposed and only one penalty may be imposed in respect of each violation and only those listed in the penalty regulations may be imposed.
Employers can deduct only a maximum of five days salary from the wages of a month, also deduction of salary for one violation shall not exceed wages of five days. Suspension from work and salary deduction shall not exceed five days for a single violation. Article 74 stipulates overtime payment for any extra time exceeding normal work hours. There is no office staff/Labour classification in the law.