By Nizar Kochery/Doha
QUESTION: Under what provision can an employer terminate his employee on reasons of disclosure of business secrets to a competitor? Our employees have not signed a confidentiality agreement. What actions can we initiate upon a worker for doing that? Is it possible to ban him from working with our competitors?
ANSWER: Article 61 permits an employer to terminate an employee’s employment with immediate effect if the worker discloses the secrets of the company.
If a worker is dismissed from work in accordance with the provisions of Article 61 of the Labour Law, such worker may not re-enter to the state for work until the expiry of four years from the date of his departure.
Article 42 (8) of the Qatar Labour Law stipulates that the employee shall not disclose the secrets of the employer even after expiry of the contract.
The period of such non-competition shall not exceed two years.
Under Article 43, where the work assigned to a worker allows him to become acquainted with the employer’s client or to become familiar with the secrets of his business, the employer may require him to refrain, after the termination of his contract, from competing with him or participating in any enterprise competing with his own.
Such agreement shall be valid only on condition that the agreement is limited, as regards the time, the place and the nature of the business, to the extent necessary to safeguard the employer’s lawful interest.
Moreover, the management can initiate penal action on the wrongdoer.
As per Article 332 of Penal Law, any person knowingly and illegally divulges a secret entrusted thereto in his official capacity, trade, profession in conditions other than those prescribed by the law or uses it for his personal benefit or for the benefit of another person, without the consent of the person concerned with the secret, shall be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years in prison and/or a fine of no more QR10,000.
Tenders are priced in local currency
Q: Is it mandatory to be priced in Qatari riyals while submitting the tender? In one of the tender submission, we found discrepancies in the calculation late. Under such a situation, shall we request for alterations?
A: As per Article 32 of Tenders and Bids Regulatory Law, unless otherwise indicated in the tender, tenders shall be priced in the local currency.
Tenders using other currencies may be accepted on condition that these will be equated with the local currency in accordance with the prices announced by the Qatari Central Bank at the time of opening of envelopes.
Tenderers will not be allowed to alter any prices after the submission of tenders.
If upon evaluation of the tender and calculating the price items, a discrepancy is found between the total sum indicated in the tender form and the total real price, the total lower price shall be adopted.
If any arithmetic errors exceed 5% of the total price in the tender form, the tender shall be disqualified unless, for reasons of public interest, the respective tender committee considered unanimously to accept the tender.
Should the total amount indicated in letters in the tender be different from the total amount indicated in digits, the amount indicated in letters shall prevail.
Ramadan working hours
Q: Is the reduction in working hours during Ramadan applicable only to Muslims? Our manager says that the working hour reduction is only for Muslim workers by some recent amendments. Is it true? What are the other special rights available for Muslims? Can the management reduce the wage during the holy month as the working hours are fewer compared to normal days?
A: No amendments were made to the Qatar Labour Law with regard to the working hours during Ramadan. The working hours during the month of Ramadan shall be 36 hours per week @ six hours per day. Except special leave for performance of Haj for Muslims, the law does not classify its applicability on religion wise. The reduced working hours during Ramadan is not limited to Muslims alone. The management has to provide wages as per the employment contract; no reduction should be made in accordance with working hours.
Termination of lease agreement
Q: On the death of the tenant, willl the agreement be terminated automatically? My father, who leased the property, died last month. We are facing difficulties to maintain the leased premises. Is it legally possible to terminate the agreement without indemnifying the landlord?
A: Article 633 of the Civil Law stipulates that the tenancy contract shall not be terminated on the death of the landlord or the tenant. But, in the event of death of tenant, the heirs may request for the termination of contract if they could establish that the obligations of the contract have become more burdensome than their resources can bear or that the lease exceeds their needs.
- Please send your questions by e-mail to: [email protected] (Mobile:55813105)
LEGAL SYSTEM IN QATAR
According to Article 9, the partner’s share may be either an amount of money or in kind that serves the objects of the company, or work to be provided by the partner himself.
A share of partner shall not be his reputation or influence, and only the monetary and specific shares shall form the capital of the company.
Where the share of partner comprises an ownership right or other rights in kind, the partner concerned shall, in accordance with rules applicable to a contract for sale, to guarantee the value of share in case of utter destruction, impairment, a defect or shortfall in the value of assets.
If the share of partner includes rights with others, the partner shall not be absolved from his responsibility to the company unless those rights are fulfilled or unless otherwise agreed upon.
If the share of partner is his work, any benefit arising out of this work shall accrue to the company, unless the partner has gained such benefit by an intellectual property right, unless otherwise agreed upon.
The partner whose share is his work cannot practice the same work for his private account or others unless otherwise agreed.
As per Article 11, each partner shall be indebted to the company for the share undertaken by himself and if he fails to settle on due dates, default partners shall responsible to indemnify the company against damages arising from such delay.
The personal creditor of any partner shall not claim his right from the debtor’s share in the company capital; however personal creditors shall have right of execution against the debtor’s share of profit, in accordance with the company’s balance sheet.
However, on winding up of the company, the personal creditor may recover from the share of the debtor in the company assets after all company debts have been settled.
Where the partner’s share is represented by shares, a personal creditor shall have right to demand the sale of shares before the competent court in order to recover his rights out of the sale proceeds.
According to Article 13, the memorandum of company shall not include a provision excluding any partner from his right in profits or exempts him from loss; otherwise such memorandum shall be void.
Nevertheless, memorandum may provide to exempt the partner who contributed through his efforts from participation in the loss.
As per Article 14, where the share of partner in profit or loss in not specified in the Memorandum of Incorporation, the share shall be proportionate to partner’s share in the capital and where the memorandum determines only the partner’s share in profits, his share in loss shall be equal to the share in profits.
If the partner’s share is restricted to his efforts and his share of profit or loss was not determined in the company’s contract, the company shall evaluate his work as a basis to determine his share of profit or loss in accordance with the standards.
Where several partners offering their work and the share of each were not specified; those shares are considered equal unless proved otherwise.
If the partner submitted his share in cash or in kind in addition to his work, he shall be entitled to a share in profit or loss in consideration of his efforts and another against his share in cash or kind.
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