By Dr Nizar Kochery/Doha
Question: I have completed two years in my company without taking any vacation and now I have resigned from the job. What are my benefits? Is it the duty of company to pay travel expenses to go back to my country? Please advise.
Answer: Upon termination of the employment contract, an employee is entitled to end-of-service gratuity and leave salary. In accordance with Article 54 of the Labour Law (Law No. 14 of 2004), for each year of employment, you are eligible for a minimum of three weeks basic salary as the end-of-service gratuity. As per Article 81 of the said law, if the employment contract is terminated for any reason before a worker takes his annual leave, he shall be entitled to payment in lieu of annual leave equivalent to his wage for the leave days to which he is entitled.
When the employment contract is terminated, the employer is responsible for repatriating the employee back to the place from where he was recruited or any other place agreed by the parties. However, if the worker joins another employer before departure from the country, then this obligation shifts to the new employer.
No grace period for the tenant
Q: We have a rental apartment for which one-year contract is over, and due to congested space in this apartment we want to shift but we could not find a convenient apartment. Please advise if there is any rule to get some grace period (2-3 months) to find new apartment as the landlord’s office is pushing us to leave the apartment or sign a new one-year contract.
A: There is no such provision in the law providing grace period to the tenant and it’s the discretion of the landlord to provide such a grace period. As per the lease law, upon the expiry of the agreed term, if a tenant remains in occupation with the knowledge and consent of his landlord, then the lease shall be deemed to have been renewed for a similar term on the same terms and conditions.
Q: What are the effects of novation contracts? We are in discussion for settlement of debt and other obligations by way of a novation contract by introducing another party. Please advise.
A: The Qatar Civil Code recognises two ways of transferring rights or obligations ‘Novation and Assignment’. A novation is an agreement made between two contracting parties to allow for the substitution of a new party for an existing one. With regard to obligations, novation is a change of the debt when the two parties agree to substitute a new obligation for the original obligation. The effect of the novation is to extinguish an existing contract and replace it with a new contract, on the same terms, between different parties. In brief, a novation will require the agreement or consent of all the three parties; all the parties to the original contract (the outgoing and continuing parties) and the incoming party. In effect, the original party who is replaced gives up any rights it has against the other original party to the contract.
Dishonouring of a cheque
Q: Being the authorised signatory, I have issued many post-dated cheques to the suppliers as directed by the shareholders of the company. Now the company face financial difficulty to raise funds for the issued cheques. In such a case, can I defend the issue in the public prosecution as I have signed under instructions? Please advise.
A: The cheque is an instrument of payment that holds the same value as that of cash. A defence that the cheque was issued under instructions of the company will not sustain before the court of law. Dishonour of a cheque due to insufficient funds in the account is an offence on the part of the signatory regardless of the motive for issuing such a cheque. The signatory of the dishonoured cheque shall be held liable for cheating and travel ban may be imposed upon him.
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