Are you a domestic worker in Qatar? Know your legal rights here

  • 2 months   ago

Are you a kadama, domestic worker, or household worker in Qatar? Did you know that the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour & Social Affairs has recently published a booklet to serve as your guide in knowing your rights?

This document highlights a number of key rights as set out in the Qatar Domestic Workers and Immigration Laws. This booklet was developed in collaboration with Migrant-Rights.org with the support from the International Labour Organization. You can download it from this link.

There are additional rights.

In case of any questions, workers should go to the Labour Relations Department of the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs (taking all employment documents).

YOUR ACCOMMODATION

THE LAW

SECTION 7 LAW NO. 15 of 2017

The employer shall be responsible for the following:

- Provide suitable housing to the domestic worker.

YOUR RIGHTS

-You have a right to receive suitable accommodation. (i.e. spacious enough to fit a bed and cupboard comfortably).

- It also means that your living space is safe and hygienic.

- And if you are sharing a room with someone else, then your own bed and enough privacy and safety for self and belongings.

YOUR HEALTH

THE LAW

SECTION 7 LAW NO. 15 of 2017

The employer shall be responsible for the following:

- Provide appropriate medical care, medicine, and medical equipment in the case of sickness or injury during the performance of his/her duties, or as a result therefrom, without incurring any financial burden on the domestic worker.

YOUR RIGHTS

- If you are feeling unwell or have a health condition that requires regularly medical attention, you must inform your employer and visit a health centre immediately.

-In Qatar, for emergency situations, you can dial 999.

- You have a right to have and hold a health card in your possession, paid for by the employer.

- You have a right to receive medication and visit a doctor.

YOUR FOOD

THE LAW

SECTION 7 LAW NO. 15 of 2017

The employer shall be responsible for the following:

-Provide suitable food for the domestic worker.

YOUR RIGHTS

-You have a right to receive enough food to nourish and sustain your health.

-You have a right to receive three meals a day without payment.

LOCATION AND NATURE OF YOUR WORK

YOUR WORKPLACE

THE LAW

SECTION 9 LAW NO.  5 of 2017

An employer shall be prohibited from employing a domestic worker outside Qatar, without the worker's approval.

YOUR RIGHTS

- If your employer asks you to work outside Qatar, you have a right to refuse.

- The employer does not have the right to compel you to work outside of Qatar.

YOUR WORKING HOURS

THE LAW

SECTION 7 LAW NO 5 OF 2017

The employer shall be responsible for the following:

* The maximum hours of work shall not exceed ten hours a day, unless there is an agreement to the contrary, interrupted by periods for worship, rest and food. Such periods shall not be included in the calculation of the hours of work.

YOUR RIGHTS

- Your working hours should not be more than 10 hours a day.

- The employer does not have a right to require you to work more than 10 hours a day. The standard contract for domestic workers mentions that the working day is 8 hours, and possibly 2 additional hours of overtime.

YOUR ANNUAL HOLIDAY

THE LAW

SECTION 14 LAW NO 15 OF 2017

- A domestic worker shall be entitled an annual paid leave of three weeks for every year spent in service. A worker can divide such holidays, select its timing and the place where is shall be taken, unless there is an agreement to the contrary.

YOUR RIGHTS

-You have a right to three weeks of annual holiday at the end of each year of service.

-You have the right to carry forward to the next year any remaining days of annual holiday that you did not take

YOUR SAFETY

THE LAW

SECTION 7 LAW NO 15 OF 2017

A domestic worker shall not work during his/her sick leave.

YOUR RIGHTS

You have a right to rest and stay away from work during illness. The employer cannot ask you to work during your illness.

YOUR REST AND BREAKS

THE LAW

SECTION 7 LAW NO 15 OF 2017

A domestic worker shall not work during his/her rest periods.

YOUR RIGHTS (YOUR REST AND BREAKS)

You have a right to rest/breaks during your working day. These breaks are for meals, worship, and rest.

YOUR DAY OFF WORK

THE LAW

SECTION 13 LAW NO. 15 OF 2017

- A domestic worker shall be entitled to a paid weekly rest holiday, which is not less than twenty four consecutive hours.

- The timing of the weekly rest shall be determined based on the agreement between both parties as indicated in the labour contract.

- A domestic worker shall not work during his/her weekly rest, unless there is a prior agreement between both parties to the contrary.

YOUR RIGHTS

- You have a right to a full day off in a week.

- The day of your day-off must be agreed on before you sign the contract and must be included in the contract.

- A 'full day' is no less than 24-hours straight - the rest day is taken as a whole not in parts.

- On your day off, you have a right to have a complete rest from work/duties, unless you agreed to work on that day with overtime payment.

 It is important to inform you employer when you leave the house during your day off.

YOUR FINANCIAL RIGHTS

YOUR WAGES

THE LAW

SECTION 8 LAW NO 5 OF 2017

-An employer shall be responsible for paying the monthly wage in Qatari Riyals agreed upon with the domestic worker at the end of the month, or at the latest on the third day of the consecutive month.

YOUR RIGHTS

- You have a right to receive the wage you have been promised in your contract. Qatar's temporary minimum wage is Qr. 750 a worker should not receive less than this amount or less than the minimum wage agreed between your country and Qatar.

- You are entitled to receive your salary at the end of the month or on the agreed-on date, every month.

- Your wages should be deposited into your bank account or should be paid to you in cash. If you receive your wages in cash, a receipt should be provided to you to sign confirming you received your wages.

RECRUITMENT FEES AND RELATED COSTS

THE LAW

SECTION 8 LAW NO. 15 OF 2017

An employer shall be prohibited from deducting any fees, expenses or commissions from a worker's wage in return for the procedures of recruitment from abroad.

YOUR RIGHTS (THE RECRUITMENT FEE)

The employer or the recruitment agent cannot deduct from your monthly salary or demand payment from you for any expense related to your recruitment including recruitment fees, airfare, medical tests and visa fees.

YOUR AIRFARE

THE LAW

SECTION 15 LAW NO. 15 OF 2017

A domestic worker shall also be entitled, for every two years in service, to a return air ticket to his/her country of origin or place of residence to go on holidays or the remaining holidays.

YOUR RIGHTS

You have a right to receive a return air ticket from your employer when you complete two years of service.

And this cost has to be paid by the employer, and you are not expected to pay any part of it.

YOUR END OF SERVICE BENEFITS

THE LAW

SECTION 15 LAW NO 15 OF 2017

- An employer shall be responsible for paying the end of service bonus to a domestic worker who spent at least one year in service in addition to any other entitlements.

- This bonus shall be determined in agreement between both parties provided it shall be at least a three week wage for each year spent in service. A domestic worker shall be entitled to fractions of the year multiplied by the period spent in service.

YOUR RIGHTS (YOUR END OF SERVICE BENEFITS)

- If you have worked for the same employer for more

than a year, you have a right to receive an end of service bonus from your employer.

This bonus is no less than the wage due to you for three weeks and is calculated for each year you worked.

COMPENSATION FOR YOUR INJURY/INJURIES

THE LAW

SECTION 19 LAW NO 21 OF 2015

A compensation shall be paid to a worker for any accident at work in accordance with the provisions of the abovementioned Labour Law.

YOUR RIGHTS

If you were hurt while at work, you have a right to receive compensation for injury.

YOUR GENERAL RIGHTS UNDER THE DOMESTIC WORKERS LAW

CONTRACT OF EMPLOYMENT

THE LAW

SECTION 3 LAW NO 15 OF 2017

- A domestic worker may not be employed other than by virtue of a labour contract, which is written and certified by the department, in three copies.

- One copy shall be handed to each pany, and the third copy shall be deposited at the department.

- The employment contract shall be written in Arabic. A translation thereof in another language may be annexed.

The employment contract shall include provisions relating to the employment relationship between both parties.

It shall include in particular the following data:

l. Name of employer, nationality and place of residence.

2. Name of domestic worker, nationality and place of residence.

3. Date of the contract’s conclusion.

4. Type and nature of work entrusted to a domestic worker

5. Date on which work started, and the probationary period.

6. The contract’s duration, conditions of renewal, and end.

7. Wage agreed upon, and manner and date of its payment.

8. Any provisions or data specified in this law.

YOUR RIGHTS

An employer has no right to employ you except after signing an employment contract with you. This employment contract must contain all the details necessitated by law.

You have a right to receive a copy of the signed employment contract. The contract will be in Arabic and English.

ENDING YOUR CONTRACT

THE LAW

SECTION 17 LAW NO 15 OF 2017

A worker may end the employment contract before the end of its duration while safeguarding his/her full right to the end of service bonus in any of the following cases:

1. If an employer has not met his/her obligations specihed in the provisions of this law or in the labour contract.

2. If an employer, or a person mandated by him/her, has cheated at the time of concluding a contract with a worker, with respect to the terms of employment.

3. If an employer or a member of his/her family aggresses a worker, which harms the worker physically or his/her life.

In the event of a serious danger which threatens a worker's safety or health, provided that an employer was cognizant of the danger, and had not sought to remove it.

YOUR RIGHTS

YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO END YOUR CONTRACT BEFORE THE END OF ITS DURATION IF:

- The employer does not fulfil any or all the obligations under the contract.

- If the employer or a recruitment agent cheats you in relation to the terms of the contract.

- If the employer, a family member hurts you physically.

- If there is a serious danger threatening your life or health at your workplace.

According to Law No. 21 of 2015, workers can change employer after the end of their employment contract, without having to request the approval of their employer.

In order to transfer to another employer after the end of your contract, you must fill out a form and follow the procedure of the Labour Relations Department of the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs.

YOUR IDENTIFICATION DOCUMENTS

THE LAW

ARTICLE 8 LAW NO 21 OF 2015

The employer shall return the passport or travel document to the expatriate worker after finalizing the permit procedure or its renewal unless the expatriate worker requests in writing that the employer keeps it with him.

YOUR RIGHTS

You have a right to keep your passport and any other travel document in your possession except when your employer needs it for purposes such as filing for resident permit or passport renewal.

An employer who withholds a worker's travel documents by force is violating the law and is subject to a maximum fine of Qr. 25,000

EXITING THE STATE OF QATAR

THE LAW

ARTICLE 2 OF MINISTRY OF INTERIOR DECISION NO. 95 OF 2019

Domestic workers shall have the right to leave the country temporarily, or to depart definitely from the country during the validity of their employment contract. The worker shall inform the employer of his/ her desire at least 72 hours in advance.

 You no longer need an exit permit to leave Qatar. You should however, inform your employer about your plans to leave the country at least 72 hours in advance. You can do this verbally or in writing.

YOUR RIGHT TO BE FREE FROM PHYSICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL HARM

FREEDOM FROM PHYSICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL

THE LAW

SECTION 7 LAW NO. 15 OF 2017

The employer is responsible to:

Treat domestic workers well, in a manner which will safeguard their dignity and wellbeing.

Avoid exposing a domestic worker's health or life to danger, or harm him/her physically or morally in any manner whatsoever.

YOUR RIGHTS

You have the right to be treated with decency and respect by the employer and members of the employer's household.

YOUR RIGHT TO BE FREE FROM BEING DETAINED AND TO BE FREE FROM TORTURE

THE LAW

ARTICLE 36, CONSTITUTION OF QATAR

The employer shall be responsible for the following:

Personal freedom shall be guaranteed and no person may be arrested, detained, searched, neither may his freedom of residence and mobility be restricted under the provisions of the law; and no person may be subjected to torture, or any degrading treatment; and subjected to torture, or any degrading treatment; and torture shall be considered a crime punishable by law.

YOUR RIGHTS [YOUR RIGHT TO BE FREE FRON BEING DETAINED AND TO BE FREE FROM TORTURE)

- The employer has no right to conhne you to his/her house forcefully.

- The employer has no right to subject you to any inhumane treatment, such as denying you food, confining you to a space forcefully, causing you physical or sexual harm.

 

YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES UNDER THE DOMESTIC WORKERS LAW

RESPONSIBILITIES

THE LAW

SECTION 11, LAW NO. 15 OF 2017

A domestic worker shall be committed to the following:

- Respect the State of Qatar’s laws, customs, traditions, religious and moral values.

- Carry out the work agreed upon, and any other work requested, accurately and honestly.

- Preserve the secrets, money and property of the employer, the employer’s family members and visitors, and refrain from harming their interests.

- Follow the instructions of the employer and the employer’s family members in the best manner, unless they violate the law or your employment contract, or endanger your life, or money, or the life or money of others.

- Maintain the things received to do your work, using them for their purpose, according to the nature of the use, and return them to the employer at the end of your service.

- Refrain from undertaking paid or unpaid work for others, in violation of the law or regulations applicable in the State of Qatar.

- Treat the employer and the employer’s family and the residents well and refrain from harming them, especially children and the elderly.

If the employer is not fulfilling any or all of your rights, you can file a complaint with the Labour Relations Department of the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs.

WHERE TO ASK HELP?

To lodge a complaint, the Ministry has a 24-hour hotline service to receive complaints and remarks from workers on the numbers 40280661 and 16008. Work complaints can also be sent via SMS to 92727 by entering number 5 then QID number or visa number. Work complaints can also be sent to the ministry’s email: lbr-complaints@adlsa.gov.qa and info@adlsa.gov.qa

Source: International Labour Organization

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