The fast-growing economy of Qatar is among the best in the region in addition to the country’s rapid infrastructure development, Qatar has imposed new provisions to its labour law consolidated legislations, such reforms were essential to maintain the pace of growth and to assist the country into reaching to the Qatar 2030 vision “ transform Qatar into an advanced society capable of achieving sustainable development”, the government of Qatar explicitly states that it is committed to reforming Qatar’s labour laws and practices, a statement that has been strengthened with a variety of actions that will lead eventually to a system that is best fit for purpose for both employees and employers. This article will shed the light on various reforms regarding labour regulations that took effect in the past years in the state of Qatar.

Essential Reforms:

  • non-discriminatory minimum wage: Minimum wage means “the minimum amount of remuneration that an employer is required to pay wage earners for the work performed during a given period, which cannot be reduced by collective agreement or an individual contract” it is of great importance to mention the new identification of a minimum wage in Qatar, whilst it might sound as a basic subject to be settled by the legislator previously, only in year 2020 Law number 17 was published in the official gazette  and came into force on the 20th of march 2021 determining the minimum wage in Qatar as follows:
    • QAR 1000 per month as a basic wage.
    • QAR 500 per month for accommodation expenses.
    • QAR 300 per month for food reimbursements.

The aforementioned Law allowed the employer to choose between providing food and accommodation for the employee or paying the abovementioned amounts, moreover, the word non-discriminatory means that wherever the employee is from and whatever job he/she is assigned of doing, the Qatari minimum wage Law will apply on them, although Qatar is relatively late in setting such boundaries, it is worth saying that by issuing this law, the state of Qatar becomes one of the first and few countries in the region to establish a non-discriminatory minimum wage Law.

  • No more NOCs! Before 2021, an employee working in the state of Qatar was not allowed to change jobs unless he/she obtains a no objective certificate (NOC) from the employer, a requirement that was misused by employers “trapping” their employees by refusing to issue an NOC for them, a previous requirement that was attacked by many national and international human rights activists and organizations, consequently , Law number 17 of 2020 came with a gift to all foreign workers in the state of Qatar, whereby and by the provisions of this law ;they do not need to take permission from their employers to change jobs, the alterations were made in favor of the employees and was welcomed by national and international human rights organizations.
    Observers look into such amendments optimistically as it is expected to benefit all the parties of the equation; employees will have the chance to look for better opportunities, employers are now capable of developing their suitable labor force effectively and efficiently and the country’s economic and humanitarian reputation will be looked at in a positive manner by the international society.
  • Exit permits: Employees working in the state of Qatar were not permitted to leave the country for any reason until they obtain an “Exit Permit” from their employers, a law requirement that was not very welcomed among employees nor the HROs , however , the Qatari legislator did remove the aforementioned requirement of the “Exit permit” in the recent reforms, Employees do not need to obtain a permit in order to leave the country, an amendment that will attract more employees to the state of Qatar and will benefit the Qatari Economy.
  • Notice periods: The recent amendments also included noticeable changes on the notice periods previously given to employees, as it increase the duration from 3 days to one month in the case of terminating an employee on his/her probation period, moreover , a one month notice period is now obligatory for employers to give to their employees who served less than two years and a minimum of 2 months for employees who served more than two years, such amendments can’t be read  but in the favor of employees  and indeed show that the Qatari legislator is serious in regards with labour law reforms and development.
  • Non-competition agreement period: it is essential to mention the amendment related to the new duration bounded by the regulations of the new law, as the previous law allowed employers to agree with the employees on a two-year non-competition agreement, the new reforms included amendments to this duration, as it determined the duration of a non-competition agreement to be set at a one-year period at its longest.


Reviewing different laws related to the regulation of labor laws in the state of Qatar proves the serious will of the Qatari authorities in turning the state into an attractive medium for qualified employees, it is with no doubt that state of Qatar is improving with such reforms and is in the way of sustaining the state’s development, however, facing a lot of laborer’s rights accusations in the past have certainly effected the recent reforms in a positive manner, according to the ILO, more measures shall be taken in order to maintain and protect the rights of the party usually with the lower hand in employment-relation, the employee.

Author: Mr. Mohammad Mufid Ratib Qurashi

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