Verbal termination is illegal
February 22 2013 09:38 PM
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By Nizar Kochery /Doha

 

QUESTION: I have worked for a company for more than two years on an unlimited contract. In November, my employer terminated my services verbally stopped, paying me salary since then. I have asked her to issue a termination letter but she refuses. I have been terminated for a personal reason and I have not  violated Article No 61. I continue to work but without any salary. Please advise.

PO, Doha

 

ANSWER: Verbal termination by the employer is not in compliance. Labour Law regulates the relation between the employer and employee, especially if any of the parties desires to terminate the labour contract.

Article 49 stipulates that employer or employee may terminate the unlimited employment contract without giving the reasons for the termination. However, the party intending to terminate the contract shall notify the other party in writing.  Accordingly the verbal termination by the employer is illegal, then as per the Labour Law, the employment relationship is still valid and the employee shall be entitled to all his rights, including salaries and labour entitlements or other benefits.

 

Differences with sponsor

Q: I am in Qatar working with my local sponsor. But because of some differences between us, he has disallowed to work for him. Salaries are pending. Currently I have no work and am struggling even to meet my basic needs. There are other companies offering work for me. Can I undertake such jobs? The company is not WLL but an establishment.

KL, Doha

 

A: Working for another employer with the same visa is considered as offence by law and the offender may be subject to a penalty of fine, imprisonment and deportation. Article 15 of the Sponsorship Laws prohibit working for employers other than the original employer. Approach the Labour Department and file a labour complaint against the employer.

 

Notice of dismissal

Q: I am an engineering postgraduate and have worked with a construction company in Doha for the last four years. My initial contract was for two years as project manager, and it stipulated that in case of resignation, I need to give a four months’ notice. As per Qatar’s Labour Law, the notice  period is one month. What are its implications if one fails to provide notice? Is a one-month notice sufficient? Being a postgraduate in engineering, can I claim no-objection certificate (NOC) for sponsorship transfer from the company?

GT, Doha

 

A: The provision of notice of termination is to provide time to adjust with unexpected termination. The notice period stipulated under Labour Law shall not be shortened, but can be extended by mutual agreement.  As per the labour law, the condition of notice is always required and legally binding on both the employer and employee.

Thus, if any party fails to commit to such notice condition, if he does not notify the other with ending the contract or if he does not complete the notice period, then the violator party shall compensate the other as per the Article No 49 of the Labour Law.

Accordingly if the contract is terminated without observing the notice period, the party terminating the contract shall be obligated to compensate the other party for an amount equivalent to the wage for the notice period or the remaining part thereof. Grant of NOC is at the discretion of the employer.

 

Bounced cheque

Q: I am working as a marketing executive with a firm and my friend is its manager. I have accepted post-dated cheques from a business concern but one of the cheques has bounced. The company is deducting the amount due from my salary. The company is in a huge loss and all creditors are contacting my friend being the manager. What are his powers and obligations by being signatory in manager’s capacity? Also, can the company deduct the unpaid cheque amount from my salary?

TG, Doha

 

A: Article 240 of Commercial Companies Law No 5 of 2002 stipulates that a manager of a limited liability company shall have full authority and power to manage and bind the company insofar as the Articles of Association do not limit the power. A manager shall not be personally liable for any obligations resulting from the management of the company, with the exception of what is required for the protection of third parties dealing with a limited liability company.

Regarding the post-dated cheque issued in the company’s name and related to the company business, then deduction of the amount of the unpaid cheque from the employee’s salary or even any further action against the employee is not legal.

The employee’s responsibility lies in handing over the cheque to the company only and he cannot be deemed responsible, by any means, for the bounced cheque.

 

*Please send your questions by  e-mail to : [email protected]

 

LEGAL SYSTEM IN QATAR

Law provides setting up of joint committees with representation from both employer and employees for promoting mutual co-operation.

The joint committee shall study and discuss all issues related to the work in the establishment, particularly organisation of work, means of increasing productivity and enhancing production, training programmes for workers, measures for protection from work-related hazards and improving the level of vocational health and safety rules, develop the general work culture, develop the level of social services in the establishment and examine individual and collective disputes and work towards a peaceful settlement.

The committee shall submit its recommendations to the employer for likely implementation.

An establishment employing 30 or more workers may form a joint committee with equal representation of the employer and the workers. The strength of the joint committee shall be four, six and eight respectively for staff strength upto 200, 200-500 and above 500.

The employer shall select his representatives on the committee from among the workers who represent the employer legally or those whom he delegate authority for some of the management functions.

Selection of workers’ representatives shall be by the workers committee if there is one and when there is no such committee workers in the establishment may select their representative through direct election. A Ministerial decision shall organise the conditions and procedures for this election.

Employers and workers have the right to collective bargaining and signing joint agreements concerning all work-related issues.

A ministerial decision on the organisation of the rules and procedures, the means of representation, principles organising joint agreements, its contents, its scope, and rules for entering into such agreements, their duration, explanations, and disputes that may arise on implementation of the collective bargaining will be issued.

The collective work-related disputes are defined as disputes between the employer and all or some workers or between a group of employers and all or some of their workers.

Its scope is related to the common interest of all the workers or some of them in an establishment, profession, specific craft or specific vocational sector. In case of any dispute between an employer and some or all workers, the parties involved in the dispute shall find a settlement. If a joint committee exists, the dispute shall be placed before it to examine its settlement.

If the attempts of both parties to settle the dispute fail, the workers shall submit their grievance or request in writing to the employer under copy to the Department of Labour.

The employer shall respond in writing to the workers within one week from the date of receiving the complaint or request with a copy to the Department of Labour. If the response of the employer does not lead to a settlement of the dispute, then the Department shall extend its efforts to mediate in the settlement.

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