What are Qatar's Labour Laws on Annual Leave?

What are Qatar's Labour Laws on Annual Leave? By Abinaya Rajagopal - April 26, 2024
Qatar Labour Laws on Annual Leave

In Qatar, there are well-defined policies governing employee vacations and mandatory holidays. 

Familiarising yourself with Qatar's labour laws and regulations becomes essential, particularly concerning entitlements to paid leave for employees.

Mandatory Holidays According to Qatar Labour Law

Under Articles 78 to 85 of the Qatar Labour Law, the regulations concerning holidays and annual leave are elaborated. Employees in Qatar are entitled to various mandatory holidays these national holidays are observed as follows:

  • Eid Al-Fitr: 3 Working Days
  • Eid Al-Adha: 3 Working Days
  • Qatar National Day: 1 Working Day

Annual Leave as per Qatar Labour Law

Article 79 stipulates that employees who complete one continuous year of service are entitled to annual leave with their basic wage. The duration of annual leave varies:

  • A minimum of three weeks for workers with less than five years of service.
  • A minimum of four weeks for workers with five years or more of service.

Employers need to specify the number of employees who can take such leave annually, with preference given to those with longer continuous service. 

Hajj Leave

This leave is unpaid and limited to a maximum of twenty (20) days, available only once during an employee's tenure. 

If an employee switches employers and it's discovered they've already taken Hajj leave, the new employer has the right to deny such leave, as it can only be granted once during the entire service period.

Annual Leave Salary and Payment

The wage during annual or sick leave, as well as the end-of-service gratuity, shall be calculated based on the worker's basic wage on the entitlement date. Payment for annual leave is made prior to the leave start date.

Annual Leave Administration

Employers have the discretion to determine annual leave dates based on work requirements. With the worker's consent, annual leave can be divided into two periods, as per Article 80. Additionally, upon written request, employers may carry forward up to half of the annual leave to the following year.

Entitlement Protection and Worker Rights

Workers are entitled to a minimum annual leave duration, and any attempt to waive this entitlement is considered void. If employment terminates before annual leave is taken, the worker is entitled to a cash allowance equivalent to the basic wage for the leave days due.

Exclusions and Exceptions

It's important to note that Qatar's Labour Law exemptions apply to domestic workers and individuals under personal sponsorship. 

Additionally, public sector employees and government workers operate under separate regulations outside the Labour Law framework.

Important Notes:

  • Workers are prohibited from engaging in employment with another employer during their leave. Violation of this condition may lead to wage deprivation and recovery of paid wages by the employer.
  • Workers are safeguarded from employment contract termination or notification during annual leave periods. If the notice period expires during leave, termination notification is deferred.

In conclusion, understanding Qatar's labour laws regarding holidays, annual leave, and Hajj leave is crucial for both employers and employees alike. 

By familiarising themselves with these provisions, individuals can navigate their employment terms confidently, fostering a harmonious and compliant work environment in Qatar.

By Abinaya Rajagopal - April 26, 2024

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