Nearly two million expatriates from around the world are working in Qatar, building the infrastructure and providing the services behind the country’s rapid economic expansion. Even with strict regulations in place, there are some private employers who do not pay salaries on time or provide the necessary facilities to their employees.
The Government of Qatar has established several support centres and helplines to protect such vulnerable employees. This article explains the different ways in which an employee can lodge an official labour complaint against his/her employer.
What To Do If Your Employer Is Not Paying Your Salary?
Qatar Government places the utmost importance on strengthening the rights of its guest workers and ensuring that all companies respect these rights and adhere to Qatar’s labour laws.
The Wage Protection System (WPS) has been established to ensure that workers’ wages are paid on time and those wage arrears are systematically settled.
According to Labor Law No. 14 of 2014 and the accompanying Ministerial resolution, salaries should be paid up within a maximum of seven (7) days from the due date.
If an employer does not transfer payments using the WPS within seven days of their due date, the Minister can suspend the issuance of new work permits to the employer and/or suspend all dealings with the Ministry. This is subject to the suspension, not including the authentication of any job contracts.
How To File A Labour Complaint Against Employer
An employee who does not receive his salary on time can make an official complaint to the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour, and Social Affairs (MADLSA) through various channels explained below and the Ministry will process it in due time.
1. Labour Complaint By SMS To MADLSA Hotline Number
Qatar’s Ministry of Labour (MADLSA) has an SMS service that was launched to communicate with workers about their problems. The hotline is available 24 hours and in several languages.
The steps to submit a labour complaint as SMS on Ministry of Labour Hotline Number 92727 is as below:
- Open your phone’s text message (SMS) option
- Type 5 then ID Number or Visa Number
- Send the SMS to 92727
This procedure enables workers, who would not be able to go directly to the Ministry, to submit their complaints while ensuring that the confidentiality of those complaints is maintained.
2. Labour Complaint Through Ministry Website Form
Employees can also submit their complaints and suggestions using the contact form on the Ministry of Labour (MADLSA) website.
The steps to submit a labour complaint on the Ministry of Labour website is as below:
- Go to the Complaints Page on the Ministry of Labour Website
- Choose the type as “Complaint”
- Enter your name, phone number and e-mail
- Provide the details of your complaint including the Qatar ID number
- Click on “Submit”
3. Labour Complaint Through Amerni Mobile App
Workers can also submit their complaints online via the “Amerni Qatar” application for smartphones, which provides electronic services in 33 languages.
The steps to submit a labour complaint on Amerni Mobile App is as below:
- Download and Install “Amerni Qatar” app from Google Play Store or Apple App Store
- Log in using your Tawtheeq (NAS) account
- Complete the initial setup (Read the Amerni Mobile App User Guide)
- On the home page, click on the “Submit Labour Complaint” icon
- Select the language and enter the complaint details
- Related: How to Create Tawtheeq Qatar Account
The Amerni Mobile App also has a separate option for “Domestic Worker Complaint”.
4. Labour Complaint By Calling MADLSA Hotline Number
Workers can call the Ministry of Labour Hotline number 16008 to raise a complaint.
To report violations regarding worker’s accommodation conditions, one should call on 40280660.
5. Labour Complaint By Sending E-mail
Another option is to send an e-mail to the Ministry’s dedicated e-mail ID for labour complaints: [email protected]
6. Labour Complaint Through MADLSA Self-service Kiosks
Workers can also submit their complaints anonymously through MADLSA’s self-service kiosks placed around Qatar. These kiosks are offering services in 10 languages including Arabic, English, Nepalese, Hindi, Bengali, Urdu, Tamil etc.
A worker will be able to lodge his complaint in his native language in a simple form that requires just three steps. He can then take a printout of the complaint with all relevant data and submit it to the labour affairs department where the dispute will be resolved amicably.
7. Labour Complaint Through MADLSA Offices
Instead of going directly to Labour Court, nowadays workers have to approach the Ministry of Labour offices where there is a section to register such complaints.
- Workers can visit the Labour Department Offices in Industrial Area (location map) and Al-Shahaniya (location map) to raise a complaint in-person.
- The Labour Office’s operating hours are Sunday to Thursday from 7:30 AM to 12:30 PM.
Below are the steps to make a direct complaint with the MADLSA office:
- Note down the full name of the company and location
- Get the contact number of the company’s manager or the number of Mandoob
- Take a copy of your Passport and Qatar ID
- Go to the Labour Department office
- On reaching the office, fill-up the complaint form
- Submit the form with the labour inspector
- Explain your complaint and provide any documents if you got
After investigating the complaint, the Labour Department will try its best to resolve the issue without referring it to court. The Department will contact the employer and request for proofs and documents if necessary. If a resolution cannot be reached, the case will be referred to Labour Court.
How to A Submit Labour Complaint to NHRC
Another option is to complain to the National Human Rights Committee (NHRC).
NHRC is established for the protection and promotion of human rights for everyone, subject to the jurisdiction of the State of Qatar (citizens, residents, and transit travellers). Those who feel their rights are violated may file a complaint to the NHRC to take necessary action.
You can make a complaint to NHRC using the below options:
1. Labour Complaint Through NHRC Website
- Step 1: Go to NHRC Website’s Complaint Form Page
- Step 2: If you don’t have an account click on “Register Now”
- Step 3: Register with details like Name, QID/Passport, Phone Number, E-mail etc.
- Step 4: Once registration is completed, login to submit the complaint form
2. Labour Complaint Through NHRC E-mail or Fax
A worker can also send the complaint form to NHRC via e-mail or fax. Here are the steps:
- Step 1: Download the Complaint Form from NHRC website
- Step 2: Take a print out of the form
- Step 3: Complete the form with contact information
- Step 4: Attach a copy of your ID card (for Qataris) and a copy of your passport or visa (for non-Qataris)
- Step 5: Attach any related documents to support your complaint
- Step 6: Send your complaint via fax or e-mail address
|NHRC SMS Number :||119|
|NHRC E-mail:||[email protected]|
3. Labour Complaint Through NHRC Office
Workers can visit the office of National Human Rights Commission directly to submit the printed complaint form, document copies and any supporting document (as explained in previous option).
NHRC Office is located in Fereej Abdulaziz (Nasser Bin Khalid intersection, Behind Doha Petrol Station, Otabi Tower) Here is the NHRC Location Map.
How To Check The Status Of A Labour Complaint?
Once you have made a complaint and received the reference number, you can check the status on Ministry of Labour website or using Amerni mobile app.
Option 1: Checking The Status On Ministry Website
Below are the steps to check the labour complaint status on Ministry website
- Step 1: Go to the MADLSA website complaint status page
- Step 2: Enter the establishment registration number (field 1)
- Step 3: Enter the complaint number (field 2)
- Step 4: Select the year from the drop-down menu
- Step 5: Press the “Submit” button
Option 2: Checking The Status on Amerni Mobile App
You can also check the status of your labour complaint using the Amerni mobile app.
- Step 1: Open the Amerni mobile app
- Step 2: Sign in using Tawtheeq (NAS) username and password
- Step 3: Select “Individual”
- Step 4: Click on “Labour Complaint Follow-up”
- Step 5: Select the year
- Step 6: Follow the instructions
Labour Dispute Settlement Committees
Qatar has established Labour Dispute Settlement Committees to improve workers’ access to justice.
When a dispute arises, workers and employers first present the dispute to the Labour Ministry (MADLSA), which will take the necessary measures to resolve the issue amicably and examine the dispute raised within a period not exceeding seven days.
When a complaint is raised to the Labour Dispute Settlement Committee, the Committee arbitrates all disputes and its decision is issued with immediate enforcement within a period that does not exceed three weeks.
Complaints can also be raised through workers’ representatives who meet regularity with ADLSA.
How The Labour Dispute Resolution System Works
Scenario 1: I think my employer has breached my contract and/or broke Qatar labour law.
Step 1 – Start Process
- Lodge a complaint at ADLSA – while you are still employed or not later than 1 year after the end of the employment relationship.
Step 2 – ADLSA Meeting
- ADLSA invites parties to a meeting to seek resolution. To prepare yourself:
- 1. Bring proof to support your complaint.
- 2. Be ready to discuss your complaint.
- 3. Calculate how much your losses are.
If the issue is unresolved: You can ask for your complaint to go to the Dispute Settlement Committee (DSC) for a legal hearing if your complaint is not resolved.
Step 3 – DSC Hearing
- DSC is a court of law – it will consider the evidence of both parties. To prepare yourself:
- 1. Bring proof to support the complaint.
- 2. Prepare a calculation of your losses in Arabic.
- 3. Be ready to answer questions from the DSC.
Outcome: DSC issues a legal decision. If not appealed after 15 days, DSC decision is final.
Scenario 2: I want to challenge my employer’s decision to discipline me.
Step 1 – Start Process
- Send a written grievance to your employer (keep copy) – within 7 days of being notified of disciplinary penalty.
Step 2 – Employer’s Response
- The employer has 7 days to respond.
If the issue is unresolved: If you are unhappy or the employer does not respond, you can lodge a complaint at ADLSA within the next 7 days.
Step 3 – ADLSA
- ADLSA decides if the disciplinary penalty is fair.
- For non-dismissal penalties, ADLSA’s decision is final.
- For dismissal penalties, if ADLSA says dismissal is fair, the worker can request a legal hearing.
Step 4 – Dismissal Cases Only – Legal Hearing
- The matter goes to Dispute Settlement Committee (DSC). See Step 3 in Scenario 1.
NOTE: How ADLSA will deal with a worker’s complaint regarding the disciplinary actions taken by the employer, depends on whether these are: Non-dismissal penalties (warnings; wage deductions; suspension and delaying promotion/wage rises) or Dismissal from employment.
Scenario 3: My employer has accused me of deliberately causing damage and has or is going to deduct my wages.
Step 1: Lodge complaint at ADLSA – within 7 days of notification of deduction.
Step 2: ADLSA will decide to either cancel, reduce or agree the deduction. ADLSA’s decision is final.
Workers’ Support and Insurance Fund
Qatar has also established a Workers’ Support and Insurance Fund which will ensure and provide care for workers, guarantee their rights and provide a healthy and safe working environment.
The purpose of the fund is to secure workers’ financial payments awarded by Labour Dispute Settlement Committees when a company becomes insolvent and is unable to pay workers.
Changing Employer After Labour Complaint
If the Labour Department or Labour Court finds that the employer has defaulted in paying the salary, they would be ordered to settle the salary within a specified time period. If the worker wishes to resign from the company and move to another employer, the Labour Department would also assist in the same.
Always remember, you have your legal rights and the Qatar government is there to help. So stand up and speak for your rights.
Images Courtesy: MADLSA
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FAQ on Labour Complaints in Qatar
What can I do if my salary is not paid?
If your salary is not paid on time or your employer mistreats you, you can file an official complaint with Qatar’s Ministry of Labour (MADLSA).
How can I complain to Labour in Qatar?
An employee can complain to the Ministry of Labour (MADLSA) through various channels like calling the hotline number, SMS, e-mail, website, Amerni mobile app, Kiosks etc.
Do I need a lawyer to file a complaint?
No, in most cases employees can directly contact Qatar’s Ministry of Labour (MADLSA) to file a complaint without using a lawyer.
Will I be deported if I file a complaint against my employer?
If you secure a new job offer during the period of dispute, Qatar’s Labour Department would help you to change the employer.
Is my employer allowed to keep my passport?
No, employers in Qatar are not allowed to keep the passport of an employee unless for official requirements like visa procedure, renewal etc.
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