Expats can change jobs after serving double the contract term

Expats can change jobs after serving double the contract term

By Recruiter4life

An expatriate will be allowed to transfer his/her sponsorship after spending a period that is twice the employment duration mentioned in the contract with the current employer, or after a 10-year period in case of open contracts with the approval of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (MoLSA), according to latest amendments and recommendations of the Advisory Council's Internal and External Affairs Committee (IEAC) regarding entry, exit and stay of expatriates.

The committee, however, suggested that if the employee's nature of job grants him or her direct access to the employer's client base and/or sensitive information that could affect the employer's competitiveness in the market, the employer can oblige the employee not to transfer employment to a direct competitor or establish their own business that directly competes with the current employer.

Moreover, expats or their hosts (previously labelled as sponsors) must inform authorities concerned about the expat's desire to exit the country at least three days prior to the intended departure. The expat also has to inform their hosts about their departure before the application is presented to authorities.

However, in case of emergencies (such as the death of a first-degree relative), a grievance committee can approve the expat's request for emergency departure upon receiving the application, without referring back to the host.

The IEAC's complementary report on the draft law was discussed during the Advisory Council's weekly regular meeting of its 43rd session on Monday under Council's Speaker HE Mohamed bin Mubarak al Khulaifi.

Earlier, four meetings were held between June 24 and July 2 to take feedback from MoLSA, the Ministry of Interior (MoI) and the Qatar Chamber.

In addition to discussing the committee's amendments to Article No. 21 regarding the transfer of employment, which does not apply to domestic workers, the Council deliberated about the IEAC's amendments to Article No. 7 of the draft law.

Article No. 7 states that in case of the host's objection to the exit permit application, the expat or the host (according to the circumstance) must approach the grievance committee.

Otherwise, the expat is granted an exit permit once the host's approval is submitted to the authorities concerned, or after a maximum of three days of the application for the permit as long as there is no objection from the host.

According to the draft law, the host has no right to keep the expat's passport after completition of the residence permit procedures or other paperworks requiring passport.

The host must also inform the authorities within 14 days of the expat's leaving his or her job or the end or termination of the employment contract (according to Article 19).

The IEAC's amendment to Article No. 39 of the law said that hosts who violate either requirement would be fined up to QR25,000 (no minimum fine specified).

However, some members of the Advisory Council suggested reducing the fees for reconciliation for the above mentioned violations from the currently suggested QR12,000 to QR6,000 in line with reducing the maximum fine to QR25,000 from the previously recommended QR50,000. However, the suggestion did not find majority support.

The draft law requires the host to cover the costs incurred for the expat's deportation, unless the expat is proven to have illegally worked for another employer, in which case the expat pays such fees in full.

However, if the expat does not have the financial capability to pay deportation fees, the host is required to incur the costs even if the expat worked illegally for another employer.

In addition to amending some of the draft law's Articles, the committee urged the Council to submit a number of recommendations to the government, including restricting the number of hosts that employ an expat to no more than two, in addition to the expat's first employer in the country.

Moreover, the IEAC recommended obliging companies to recruit educated and well-trained personnel as well as adopting modern technology and the latest equipment to streamline processes and minimise the duration that such employees are needed in the country, while stressing the need to educate incoming expats on the customs and traditions of the country in order to preserve its values and culture.

The IEAC also urged referring to authorities in case of the employee's refusal to continue working for their current employer, while recommending imposing a two-year ban on the expat's re-entry to the country after leaving in such case. The authority has the right to exempt certain cases from the ban, in coordination with the expat's previous host.

During the meeting, the Council also discussed a number of Articles of the draft law that regulate Residence Permits for the expat's spouse and parents as well as procedures for burial for the expat's relatives.

According to the MoI and the MoLSA, there have been some employers who have mistreated their employees, provided inadequate accommodation and abused Exit Permit procedures, but they are considered exception to the norm, which they said led to Qatar being classified as one of the top 24 countries for human rights abuse.

The MoI said that despite the fierce campaign against Qatar, the authorities will not be forced to oblige to all of the foreign demands, arguing that the contract is the basis for regulating the relationship between the employer and the employee.

Only one of the members had reservations about Article No. 21 regulating the transfer of employment, arguing that by 'monopolising' the skills and talent of employees, expats end up working in other neighbouring countries and Qatar misses the opportunity to utilise such talent and skills.

"Five years is enough to keep an employee after which they should be given the opportunity to either negotiate a better remuneration or transfer to another employer and get remunerated for their skills, thereby further contributing to our country's output," the member pointed out.

"This is the labour system the world over. The current recommendations won't help us utilise the services of skilled workers and talented employees. The only solution is to let skills find those who appreciate their worth," he noted.

At the end of the meeting, the Advisory Council decided to refer the IEAC's recommendations to the Cabinet.

The Council's Secretary-General read out Emiri Decree No. 35 of 2015 adjourning the 43rd session of the Advisory Council as of Sunday, July 12, 2015, after which he expressed thanks and appreciation to the Emir HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani for his support to the Council and for the fruitful and constructive cooperation to the Council.


By leelen• 7 years 4 weeks ago.
Rating: 3/5

I feel we are not seeing the reality on ground. These guys are building a wonderful country for themselves here in terms of infrastructure etc etc. They got the dollars to build the hanging gardens of Babylon. They have got the money to pay bright minds to set up systems that will inevitably attract people here whether we want it or not, world cup is just a good focus for now. Money can literally make "shit" glitter. These guys have one of the best airlines in the world. At the rate at which they are exploiting their oil reserves, they can do this for 160 years to come. They will literally tell people to come to Qatar and harvest money with very competitive salaries and I bet you, I will be here to come and endure the pain and make the bucks and go back to ma country. Why you think many westerners despite the negativity still come here. Its simple, when you have the money, you can live the kind of life you want here. ITs simple, relax the law on alcohol, and a number of conservative laws and I bet you guys, you will be coming here either to stay or for tourism constantly. I am guessing you guys surely have the potency to move anywhere and make a good living for yourselves. The reality from this point of mine is that the setup in the world has not made that possible for every citizen of this world. Many countries are still ready to avail their citizens to Qatar for work in the decades that lie ahead no matter what some people think and so many guys are still ready to come and live here.

By acchabaccha• 7 years 4 weeks ago.

ahmedzaki99: I agree with you. All I can foresee right now after the World Cup 2022 are empty streets, vacant residences, low sales in supermarkets as most of the foreign workers would have left Qatar. Yes, rules may then get changed. Prior to that, I don't expect any changes in Labor Laws, salaries or living conditions. By the way, where are these "greener pastures" in the MENA region you speak of?

By pbxpbx80• 7 years 4 weeks ago.

ahmedzaki99: After World Cup other projects will come :-) for example opening game of ice-hockey NHL or IAAF World Championship

By ahmedzaki99• 7 years 4 weeks ago.
Rating: 4/5

Main culprit is FIFA ,by granting world cup rights to Qatar. It is a matter of prestige for Qatari Government and the Qatari Government is under pressure to deliver there promises, complete world cup projects, finish conducting world cup successfully by using the shoulders of Expats(Because they know Qatari People are useless). That's why they will not relax rules, in order to avoid Turbulent Market conditions, by huge shift over of Talented staffs from bull shit employers to Professional ones.

After world cup, when there will be no attractive job market, rules are bound to be relaxed. So whoever is eager for career switchover now should wait until year 2023 or leave Qatar for good. Second option seems to be more practical for career oriented persons to search for greener pastures in the other MENA region.

By pbxpbx80• 7 years 4 weeks ago.

I minded working and living in Qatar as well as I minded supporting the Qatari regime and its systems by me working there and contributing to all of this.

By britexpat• 7 years 4 weeks ago.

I see what's happening . I also see that people put up with abuse for the sake of money. As I said - no one forces you to come here . Why not leave when the contract ends ?

By rahulrqatar• 7 years 4 weeks ago.

Who is this britexpat working for Qatar government ? Just go out and see what is happening with people all around qatar and not just in your small world of pussy cats.

By britexpat• 7 years 4 weeks ago.

No one forces us to come here and no one forces us to stay .. For most that is

By pbxpbx80• 7 years 4 weeks ago.
Rating: 4/5

Cosmopolit: I left too about a month and half ago and I am glad too. Wait... I am not glad I am happy!!!

I came to Qatar voluntarily and left voluntarily - I was fortunate to have to this option. I feel sorry for those who are forced - by family, economic or other conditions of their lives - to stay in Qatar.

This country and its systems (labour rules, registrations of anything, exit visa, surveillance, monitoring and other) in fact form a neo-slavery society. To certain extent, anyone who is in Qatar and is not a Qatari citizen is a "slave" with more or less chances for exit.

Some people have full freedom to leave, they just have to give up their job, massive salary with benefits paid by employers, houses, cars, housemaids, etc. But this is easy - I know as this was my case too.

Those less unfortunate ones - if I believed in a god I'd say "God bless their souls". But I only can say - I am sorry!

By Cosmopolit• 7 years 1 month ago.

So glad I left this barbaric country .,. Shithole

By Idcekm• 7 years 1 month ago.

Is this the new law reform all expats were waiting for? No use...

By simed1• 7 years 1 month ago.

what the heck! you gotta be kidding me !!!? nonesense

By sk007• 7 years 1 month ago.

useless proposal

By mmrem• 7 years 1 month ago.
Rating: 4/5

Expats have choice to either wait for 10 years to change your existing employer (you must to change your profession after 10 years) or simply accept the 2 years ban and get another offer ( save 8 years). Life is short.

Or you can wait ............... ..... for another so called "amendment".

By lcapall• 7 years 1 month ago.

Any how, this info provided by the author of this article could be false, lets just wait until we hear it from the horses mouth

By scear• 7 years 1 month ago.

I don't know where did you bring this fake information

By Khan30310702• 7 years 1 month ago.

And your Ghost will be called Sponsor

By vivme• 7 years 1 month ago.

Guys, a massive change.. Your 'sponsor' will now be called 'host'

By sasar• 7 years 1 month ago.

good for nothing in this draft................

By JokerQL• 7 years 1 month ago.

lol @ this new proposal. hahaha.

By mishijos• 7 years 1 month ago.

"This is the labour system the world over." What a joke! You have to wait for two terms of employment or TENNNN (10) years to be allowed to be considered for changing employer... And, You CANNOT go to work for a competitor to use your expertise so, You have to work on something else. This labour doesn't even match the one in the UAE or Kuwait.

I hope for employees best interest this is not the final law

By shenuhina• 7 years 1 month ago.

long time waiting for the New rule,its only dream???

By britexpat• 7 years 1 month ago.

roj: Again .. Can't see that happening

By roj tamang• 7 years 1 month ago.
roj tamang

bad news ....fifa give the 2022 world cup another country.

By britexpat• 7 years 1 month ago.

No one will leave. The government knows this.

By Antony Fernando• 7 years 1 month ago.
Antony Fernando

Many good talents will leave Qatar soon. Double the contract term? Come on....imagine a guy who has spent 6 or seven years on an open contract with an exploiting employer with the only hope on this new labour law......so sad....???!!!

By keenshan• 7 years 1 month ago.




By dingding• 7 years 1 month ago.
Rating: 2/5

employers torture go on and on & on & on & on & on & on & on & on & on and "thinks " & on continues

By perdian• 7 years 1 month ago.

This a new way of fine tuning the music called, "Slavery" ..... put it in Black n white with all the Niceness and Sincere in its more "Humane Form" and what will you get? this ... :D

By Sherzod_Davlatov• 7 years 1 month ago.

More Mercy from Qatar Government, Please!!!

By leelen• 7 years 1 month ago.

hmmm, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end .... AMEN

By lcapall• 7 years 1 month ago.

Do they think the average labor will under stand this?? or are they confusing people purposely, what a crock of you know what.

By Azhar89• 7 years 1 month ago.

Absolutely ridiculously! What was all the build up about? Is this the final law or just a draft?

By acchabaccha• 7 years 1 month ago.

The Labour Laws have become a ping pong ball with each team putting the ball on to the other side to play his turn while the spectators sit and watch rubbing their hands and awaiting the results.

By farrukha2z• 7 years 1 month ago.

Only one member talked sense. Seems he is the only one who really observed "the world" trends closely. Others are still day dreaming and knows well how to do lot of "meetings" for the sake of meetings. By the way, after 10 years will an Engineer need to be a Doctor to protect interest of his/her existing employer? LOL

By gameboy123• 7 years 1 month ago.

There was at least one member who talk practically. big salute for being a human

By kavin_32• 7 years 1 month ago.
Rating: 2/5

QFC employee and companies under QFC have different rules..they don't follow ministry of labor rules..so anyone who got a job with a company under QFC.They can change their sponsorship straight away.no need to wait for 2 years provided your previous sponsor give u NOC.

By nixon123• 7 years 1 month ago.


By knor• 7 years 1 month ago.

What a nonsense proposal....you can change your employer but you cannot practice your expertise.....such a waste of time, they are sitting and talking just to fattened their ass.

By abed.hammad• 7 years 1 month ago.

Useless......its like still in the slavery age.....******

By Australian GP• 7 years 1 month ago.
Rating: 5/5
Australian GP

There are restrictions or conditions employed in europe & other parts of western world, the employees can not work with the competitive employer. And that is fact. I can not work in any medical practice in 100M Radius distance as per my current contract, it was the same with previous employer and many others have the same conditions, and it is a hardcore fact.

By shahzad.rk• 7 years 1 month ago.

so what actually happened? confused

By Wild Turkey• 7 years 1 month ago.
Wild Turkey

"This is the labour system the world over." Lies! In Europe you can change your job anytime. There is no way to keep an employee if he wants to take up another job! Get your facts right.

By aguiar4• 7 years 1 month ago.

what about the 2 year ban??

By aguiar4• 7 years 1 month ago.
Rating: 5/5

So basically what it means is, a Fresh Trainee Engineer on an open contract will be a highly experienced Grade A UPDA certified Engineer at the point he opts out of his 10 year open contract. Even after getting the experience and grades his previous sponsor can tell him, "Sorry you cannot make use of your experience with our competitor, so please no try your hand at something else that you have no experience with. Best of Luck!!!! "

By britexpat• 7 years 1 month ago.

Huzzah. What more can one ask for

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