*One year ban on workers who violate employment contract terms
*'SMS' rephrased to provide clarity on job change applications
*Hotline to be launched to help employers raise concerns
Pull quote The SMS sent by MADLSA upon receipt of an application for job change only means that a worker has submitted an application for the same and it is under study. We have now rephrased the SMS making it clear for the employee and the employer.
There will be a one-year ban on a worker who violates the clauses of his employment contract, if he wishes to return to Qatar to take up another job, a senior official of the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs (MADLSA) told Qatar TV on Thursday.
Assistant undersecretary Mohamed Hassan al-Obaidli explained that the amendments to the Labour Law are part of the development strategy within Qatar National Vision 2030 to encourage foreign investment, attract skilled workers and maintain economic development.
He clarified that the text of a recent SMS sent by MADLSA regarding the transfer of workers from a company to another has been misinterpreted and misunderstood, creating unnecessary issues.
"This SMS only means that a worker has submitted an application for transfer and it is under study and review by the Ministry. We have now rephrased the SMS making it clear for the employee and employer.
"The rephrased SMS says that a worker has submitted an application for transfer, it is under review and study and he has to remain in his current job with the current employer until the application is processed. The employer has the right to submit his queries and remarks on this through email or the hotline that would be launched."
Al-Obaidli stressed that the new labour law has many advantages for employers.
"For instance, the employer can terminate a contract with a specified duration before it expires without the need to pay the worker for the remaining period.
"In the previous law, the employer was obliged in such cases to pay all the dues of the worker for the remaining period of the contract.
For those who want to change employers, "the new company has to be fully compliant with the Labour Law and Wage Protection System and have an approval for an entry work Visa for the same nationality of the worker who wishes to join.
"The new company also should be active and working with real business and projects. Other conditions include that the worker must attach his resignation from the old company and a letter signed and stamped by the new company indicating the job offer.
"The application can be approved or rejected by the MADLSA after processing. In case of approval of transfer, the worker has to abide by the notice period of one month for less than two years of employment and two months for two years or more."
Meanwhile, al-Obaidli stressed that the freedom to transfer from one employer to another is restricted and the employer has the right to object, for instance if the transfer request is to a competing company.
"The old employer can also demand from the new employer reimbursement of any expenses incurred for the qualification and training of the worker concerned, such as the fees for a driver's licence, in applicable cases. All such issues should be mentioned in the employment contract."
Regarding the suspension of applications for recruitment from abroad, he explained that it was due to the pandemic situation and lockdown across many places in the world.
"But now with reopening of many countries it is necessary for us to accept new recruitment applications as we are having many ongoing projects in the country and they need workers.
"All government and private companies and entities in the country, from all sectors will benefit from this, and the application and approval will be done according to the well known standards applicable before.
"With regard to the travel policy, the strategy of the country shall be followed in coordination with the Ministry of Public Health and the Ministry of Interior.
Al-Obaidli called on employers and company owners to maintain active communication with MADLSA's relevant departments and convey their concerns and remarks.