Employment Contracts in Qatar

Information on employment contracts and official letters of agreement, and what they should contain...

All employers should provide foreign workers with a job contract, or official letter of agreement, which specifies a number of details.

A copy of this document is required as part of the Work Residence Permits application and must be attested by the Ministry of Labour.

Anyone planning to work in Qatar should request to see a copy their contract before travelling to the country. There are different types of contracts; fixed term contracts and open ended contracts. Those on fixed term contracts to do not need the approval of their employer to change jobs after completing their contract.

They do need however need approval from the Ministry of Labour and must give written notice to their current employer. Those on open ended contracts can change jobs without their employers permission, pending government approval, after 5 years of service. The contract or letter should contain the following information:

  • Job title and/or job description
  • Personal details and Qatar ID
  • Start date for job
  • Finish date, or specification that the position is ongoing
  • Required notice period to be given by both employee and employer
  • Salary
  • Any key benefits, such as housing, transport, relocation or schooling assistance
  • Number of days of annual leave
Other entitlements for foreign employees include:
  • A return flight to their country of origin at the start and finish of their employment term (and also every year or two, depending on the company policy)
  • A gratuity payment upon leaving the position that relates to the number of years of service given – usually one month per year worked. The latter payment may be withheld if the employee has their contract terminated for misconduct, or breaks the contract in any way
  • Maternity leave: female employees are entitled to 50 days of maternity leave, plus one hour’s care time per day for children under the age of one
Contracts can also include:
  • Job title: some employees may find that the job title that appears on the contract might not match the actual title of the job being done. This is usually done by the employer in order to meet certain legal requirements for recruiting foreign workers to specific positions
  • Probationary period: some contracts stipulate a probationary period of between three and six months. If an employee does not pass this probationary period, repatriation costs must still be met by the company

Retirement age

The official retirement age for public sector workers in Qatar in 60, but there is no limit on retirement age for foreigners employed in the private sector. However, it is not permitted for people over the age of 60 to change sponsors, and special permission for a sponsorship extension must be granted.