An Expat's Guide to Qatar's Labour Law |

An Expat's Guide to Qatar's Labour Law

As in every country the laws are always changing in Qatar so make sure you stay in the know and check here for any updates...

Posted on

22 July 2013

Last updated on 2 January 2018
Qatar Labour Law

Most Recent:

December 14, 2016:  Qatar implemented a new sponsorship law, Law No. 21 of 2015. It includes changes about employment contracts, changing jobs, exiting the country, travel bans and processing the reseidence permit. Click here for details>>

15th May 2014: Qatar said that it will abolish its controversial labour law for foreign workers in favour of a fairer system that is based on employment contracts, according to the government. In addition the reforms will also abolish the requirement that employers must first give their consent before a worker is allowed to exit Qatar, it will be replaced by an automated system within the Ministry of the Interior. This system will automatically issue the employee with an exit permit. 

Furthermore employers are not permitted to confiscate the passports of their employees, and the fine for doing this will be increased from 10, 000 to 50, 000 rials.

Qatar Labour Law

There's a link at the bottom so you can download the Qatar Labor Law in full. The below is from the great Government of Qatar website Hukoomi.

The Labor Law of Qatar provides a body of laws and regulations outlining the legal rights, restrictions and obligations of workers, employers and workers committees. All parties involved should adhere to the Labor Law.

Qatari Employment

Priority in employment is given to Qatari citizens. The Ministry of Labor provides various services to match employers with available talent. Qatari citizens who are looking for work should register with the ministry for potential job placements.

Employers who wish to hire non-Qataris or recruit workers from abroad are required to obtain permission from the government.


Foreigners may work in Qatar under sponsorship.

Without special permission, a sponsored employee may not work for another employer. Transfer of sponsorship may be granted in cases where both the original and potential new employers agree to the change. Without a release letter, a person must leave the country for a minimum of two years before returning to work for another employer.

Sponsors may not keep the passports of their employees except to complete visa formalities.

Sponsored employees may apply to bring their spouses and children to Qatar under personal sponsorship.

Working Hours

The maximum number of working hours allowed without overtime pay is 48 hours per week. Working hours are reduced to 36 per week during the month of Ramadan.

Workers are entitled to at least one day of rest per week. Friday is the common day of rest for all workers except those who handle shift work. No employee should work two or more Fridays in a row.

Workers Committees

Qatari workers may form workers committees and join larger trade unions. Strikes are allowed as long as they follow the rules of the Labor Law.

Click here to read the Qatar Labour Law>>