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Studies have shown that it is important for workers to take short breaks from deadlines and workloads to improve their work-life balance, boost overall mood, and improve productivity.
Like most modern economies, Qatar also has defined policies regarding employee vacations and mandatory holidays. Educating yourself about Qatar’s labour laws and regulations is important if you plan on working here, especially regarding employees’ paid leave entitlements.
This article will cover the following important sections of the Qatar Labour Law on annual leave, mandatory holidays, and Hajj leave for Muslim employees.
- Mandatory Holidays
- Qatar Labour Law on Annual Leave
- Hajj Leave for Muslim Workers
- Important Points to Note
- Frequently Asked Questions
The holidays and annual leave policies are covered under Articles 78 to 85 of Qatar Labour Law.
According to Article 78, all workers shall be entitled to holidays with a full wage as follows:
- Three (3) working days on the occasion of Eid AI-Fitr.
- Three (3) working days on the occasion of Eid Al-Adha.
- One (1) working day on the occasion of Independence Day.
- Three (3) working days, their dates to be specified by the employer.
|Number of Days
|3 Working Days
|3 Working Days
|Qatar National Day
|1 Working Day
|To be specified by the Employer
|3 Working Days
If it is mandatory for a worker to remain employed during a period of such leave, the provision of Article 75 (related to overtime payment) shall apply. This law states employees working overtime should be paid 125% of their hourly wage.
Qatar Labour Law on Annual Leave
According to Article 79 of Qatar Labour Law, workers who have completed one continuous year in the service shall be entitled to annual leave with their basic wage.
- The annual leave will be a minimum of three weeks for workers who have worked less than five years.
- The annual leave will be a minimum of four weeks for workers who have worked for five years or more.
|Less than one year
|Less than five years
|Minimum of three weeks
|Five years or more
|Minimum of four weeks
The Worker shall be entitled to a leave for the fractions of the year proportionately with the period he spent in the service.
Annual Leave Salary Calculation
According to Article 72, the wage of the worker during the annual or sick leave and his end-of-service gratuity shall be calculated based on his basic wage (basic salary) on the date of entitlement.
If the worker is employed on a piecework basis, the entitlement shall be calculated based on his average wages for the three months preceding the date of entitlement.
Payment of Annual Leave Salary
According to Article 68 of the Labour Law, the employer shall pay to the worker prior the date of his annual leave due remuneration for the work he performed up to the date of the annual leave in addition to the due leave allowance.
Who decides the annual leave dates?
According to Article 80, the employer can specify the annual leave dates per the work requirements. The employer can also divide the annual leave upon the worker’s consent. However, such division shall not be into more than two periods.
For example, an employer (with the worker’s consent) can divide the annual leave of 24 days into two periods of 12 days each (or any fraction), but it should not be split into three periods of 8 days each.
Carry Forward of Annual Leave
Upon receiving a written request from the worker, an employer can postpone (carry forward) no more than half of the annual leave to the following year.
For example, a worker with 24 days of annual leave can request his employer to carry forward ten days of his annual leave to the following year. However, he cannot carry forward more than 12 days out of his 24 days.
Can the employer deny annual leave to workers?
All workers are entitled to the minimum days of annual leave, as mentioned earlier. As per Article 81, the worker shall not waive his entitlement to the annual leave, and any agreement to the contrary shall be null and void.
If the employment contract is terminated (for any reason) before the worker takes his annual leave, the worker is entitled to receive a cash allowance. This cash allowance shall be equivalent to the basic wage for the leave days he is entitled to.
Hajj Leave for Muslim Workers
As per Article 83, a Muslim worker shall be granted a leave without pay, not more than twenty (20) days, to perform Hajj (pilgrimage) for once during his service.
Please note that, unlike annual leave, Hajj leave is not an entitlement for the employee. It is solely up to the employer’s discretion to grant this leave or not. Also, note that the worker will not be paid during this leave.
Employers should specify how many workers can be granted such leaves annually. Priority should be given to workers in continuous service for a longer period.
- Hajj leave shall be without pay.
- Hajj leave shall not be more than twenty (20) days.
- Hajj leave can be given only once during a worker’s service.
If the worker starts working with another employer and the employer discovers that the worker has been granted a leave to perform Hajj by another employer, then the current employer may reject granting such leave to the worker since it is given once throughout the service period.
Important Points to Note
As per Article 84, a worker shall not work for another employer during his leave. If it has been proved that the worker breached this condition, the employer can deprive him of his wage for the period of leave and recover what has been already paid.
According to Article 85, the employer cannot terminate the employment contract or notify the worker of termination during any of his annual leaves. If the notice period expires during such leave, the employer shall not notify the worker that the contract is terminated.
Please note that the Qatar Labour Law rules do not apply to domestic workers and those under personal sponsorship. The rules for employees at public sector companies and government workers are also not covered under the Labour Law.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many days of leave per year are in Qatar?
As per Article 79 of Qatar Labour Law, the annual leave will be a minimum of 3 weeks for workers who have worked at least one year but less than 5 years. It would be a minimum of 4 weeks for workers who have worked for 5 years or more.
How is leave salary calculated in Qatar law?
Leave salary is calculated as per the worker’s basic salary on the due date. For those who are working on a piecework basis, it would be the worker’s average remuneration for the last three months.
Disclaimer: The information posted above should only be used as a reference. For more updated guidelines, please contact Qatar Labour and the appropriate authorities.
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- Qatar Labour Law: Working Hours and Overtime
- Qatar Labour Law on Sick Leave and Maternity Leave
- Minimum Wage in Qatar: Everything You Need To Know
- How To Change Job in Qatar Without NOC
- Guide To Qatar Wage Protection System WPS
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Reference: Qatar Legal Portal