The Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs (the Ministry) has introduced a new system to administer the employment relationships of expatriate workers in Qatar following implementation of Law 21 of 2015 on the entry, exit and residency of expatriates (the Sponsorship Law) in late 2016. The new system involves the creation of an integrated electronic database for expatriate workers aimed at providing employees with access to information such as basic wages, allowances, contract term and other key details related to their employment.
As part of establishing the new system, the Ministry requires all employment relationships to be governed by new standard form electronic employment contracts (e-Contracts), which can now be generated through the Ministry's website. The entry into e-Contracts is mandatory for new employment relationships entered into after 13December, 2016, being the effective date of the Sponsorship Law. Further, all public and private institutions are required to convert their existing employment contracts into e-Contracts within a period of three months.
The standard form e-Contract is generated through an online portal by entering a few key details including the identity of the contracting parties, applicable salary and allowances to be received, and the contract term. Subsequently, a one page e-Contract is automatically generated from the data provided, containing standard provisions which address obligations regarding accommodation and daily living expenses, leave entitlements and employee entitlements to annual return tickets to their country of origin.
The provisions of the one-page e-Contract cannot be altered or deleted. The parties may, however, submit a supplementary document outlining additional rights and obligations in order to further specify the particular terms of their employment relationship, provided that such additional provisions are compliant with the Labour Law and prior written approval has been granted by the Ministry.