Question: What are the safety measures to be taken by the employer under the labour laws? Who should bear the cost of safety gears? Will there be any penalty against an erring employer?
The employer or his representative shall, on the commencement of every worker’s engagement, inform him of the hazards of the work and shall inform him of the safety measures to be taken for protection during performance of his work. According to Article 100 of Qatar Labour Law, the employer shall take all precautionary measures for protecting the workers during the work from any injury or disease that may result from the work performed in his establishment or from any accident, defect or breakdown in the machinery and equipment therein or from fire.
The employer shall not burden the worker with or deduct from his wage any sum in return for his providing precautionary safety means. If the employer failed to take the precautionary measures in case of imminent dangers threatening the health or safety of the workers, the ministry may issue a decision for the partial or total closure of the place of work or stoppage of one or more machines from work pending the elimination of the causes of the danger. In such case, the employer shall undertake to pay the wages of the workers in full during the period of closure or suspension.
Holding security deposit to settle utility bills
Q: We have subleased the premises to the tenant and a contract was entered into. In the contract, it was agreed by the parties that the utility bills will be remitted by the tenant directly. Now that we have notified the tenant to vacate the premises due to some reasons and we have noticed that the utility bills are outstanding. If the tenant refuses to settle the utility bills, can we hold the security deposit amount against the due bills? Is it legal to do so? Please advise.
A: If the utility bill remittance is the duty of the tenant as per the contract, the tenant is legally obliged to settle the same. If the tenant failed to make the payment, the landlord can hold the security deposit for the recovery of utility bills. The tenant cannot raise the defence that the money was issued as security deposit. The landlord can settle the utility bill using the deposit amount and return the balance to the tenant.
Seeking exemption in loan repayment terms
Q: I have availed a bank loan for my personal purposes and the repayment was made without any faults. I have submitted by employment details and supporting documents in the bank for the loan. Now I have lost the job and I am facing difficulty to repay the loan. As I got terminated from the employment, can I seek the bank for any exemption for the repayment schedule? Is my employment and loan linked? How does the termination affect the bank loan? Please advise.
A: Loan contract is independent of borrower’s employment and borrower will be legally obliged to repay the loan as per the terms of loan. There is no connection between the employment and personal loan. The employment details were verified by the bank to check your repayment capacity. On failure to repay the loan amount, the bank can take necessary legal action to recover the loan amount. Loan repayment shall subsist irrespective of whether the borrower is employed or not. It is advisable to negotiate with the bank for a review of the repayment terms or offer further guarantees till such time of getting a new source of income or employment. However, getting an exemption in the repayment terms is the discretion of the bank.
Fine paid at public prosecution is bail
Q: A few months ago, my friend was arrested when police found him drunk. After paying a fine at public prosecution the police released him from custody. Now we came to know that there was case against him and judgment issued. Since he has already paid the fine, then why is there another case? What is the next step to settle this?
- YA, Doha
A: According to Article 270 of the Qatar Penal Laws, anyone who is found drunk on a main street or anyone who disturbs others due to intoxication shall be punished for not more than six months and a fine of not more than QR3,000 or both. The payment that was made at the public prosecution is not fine or settlement amount; it is only the bail amount. The judgment issued in absence could be re-opened.
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