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The Qatari Labour Law regulates employee work hours to prevent employees from being overworked and underpaid. A maximum number of hours per week is set, and overtime wages are guaranteed for work done over the regular hours.
This article will cover the important sections of the Qatar Labour Law on working hours, overtime payment and weekly holidays.
- Qatar Labour Law on Working Hours
- Qatar Labour Law About Overtime
- Qatar Labour Law About Weekly Holiday
- Schedule of Work Hours
- Exemption To These Rules
- Frequently Asked Questions
Articles 73 to 77 of the Qatar Labour Law (Chapter 7) are about regulations of working hours. Below are the key points of these articles:
Qatar Labour Law on Working Hours
As per Article 73 of Qatar Labour Law, the maximum limit of the regular working hours shall be forty-eight (48) hours per week and eight hours per day.
This shall be the case during all months of the year, except during the Holy month of Ramadan, where the maximum working hours shall be thirty-six (36) hours per week and six hours per day.
|Max. Hours Per Week
|Max. Hours Per Day
|Maximum working hours (Regular months)
|48 hours per week
|8 hours per day
|Maximum working hours (Ramadan)
|36 hours per week
|6 hours per day
Working hours do not include time spent commuting between the workplace and accommodation.
All workers have the right to rest time of at least one hour between work hours. However, this rest time shall not be included in the calculation of the work hours.
- Work hours must include at least one hour for prayer, rest, and eating.
- The interval cannot be less than one hour or greater than three hours.
- Such intervals shall not be included in the calculation of the working hours.
- The worker should not be forced to work more than five hours continuously.
In special cases, work that can be continued uninterrupted for rest can be specified by a Ministerial decision.
Qatar Labour Law About Overtime
Any time a worker works in addition to their normal working hours is considered overtime. Article 74 of the Qatar Labour Law speaks about working overtime and the extra payment to be made in such cases.
If required, a worker can be employed for additional hours in addition to the maximum hours allowed. However, the daily working hours should not exceed ten (10) hours.
The only exception to this rule is when the work is necessary to prevent a gross loss or dangerous accident or to repair or mitigate the effects of such loss or accident.
Overtime Payment For Extra Hours
Workers who are required to work overtime (beyond their regular hours) are entitled to receive overtime pay. As per the law:
“The Employer shall pay the Workers for the additional working hours a payment that shall not be less than the payable Basic Wage for the normal working hours plus an extra pay not less than (25%) thereof.”
This means, for the additional working hours, the employer shall pay the workers a payment not less than the applicable basic wage plus a bonus of not less than (25%) of the basic wage. In effect, the pay rate should be at least 125% of the normal hourly wage.
For example, a worker whose regular pay is QR 20 per hour should be paid at least QR 25 per hour (QR 20 x 125/100) for overtime work.
Overtime Payment For Night Work
Workers who work overtime during the night are eligible for extra payment than normal overtime rates. Qatar Labour Law further states:
“The Employer shall also pay the Workers working between nine PM, and six AM the payable Basic Wage plus a payment not less than (50%) thereof, except Workers working on shift schedules.”
As per this rule, workers who work overtime between 9 PM and 6 AM shall be eligible for at least 150% of the normal hourly wage. Note that this rule does not apply to workers on shift schedules.
Taking the earlier example, a worker whose regular pay is QR 20 per hour should be paid at least QR 30 per hour (QR 20 x 150/100) for any overtime work done between 9 PM and 6 AM.
Qatar Labour Law About Weekly Holiday
Article 75 of the Qatar Labour Law speaks about the weekly paid rest day:
“The Worker shall be given a weekly paid rest which shall not be less than twenty-four successive hours, and Friday shall be the weekly rest day for all Workers, except those working on shift schedules.”
The law clearly states that all workers are entitled to at least one day of rest in a week. For all workers (except those on shift schedule), the rest day should be Friday.
Compensation For Working During Rest Day
In circumstances when the worker is required to work during the rest day:
- The worker should be compensated with another day to rest,
- And the worker shall be paid for working on such day the wage payable to him for the normal weekly rest day, or he shall be paid his basic wage plus an extra payment that shall be at least the equivalent of (150%) of his wage.
Working on Successive Fridays
Except for workers working on a shift schedule, it is prohibited to employ the worker for more than two successive Fridays.
Schedule of Work Hours
According to Article 77, the employer is responsible for posting a schedule of the working days, weekly rest days, work hours and rest intervals for all categories of workers.
This schedule should be posted on:
- a) the main gates used by workers, and
- b) in a prominent place in the workplace.
The employer should also notify the Labour Department with a copy of this schedule.
Exemption To These Rules
Articles 73, 74, and 75 of this Law do not apply to persons occupying key positions if such positions allow the occupants to enjoy the powers of the Employer over the Workers.
Also, the provisions of Article 73 shall not apply to the following categories:
- Workers carrying out preparatory and complementary works that must be carried out before or after the working time.
- Security guards and cleaning workers.
- The other categories of workers and the maximum working hours limit can be specified by a decision from the Minister of Labour.
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 do you calculate overtime as per Qatar Labour Law?
As per Qatar Labour Law, overtime payment should be at least 125% of regular hourly pay. In the case of working overtime between 9 pm and 6 am, this should be at least 150% of regular hourly pay.
Am I eligible for overtime pay during the shift schedule?
Workers on shift schedules are not eligible for overtime pay for their regular shift hours. Only the time worked above the regular shift is eligible for overtime.
How many hours can my employer ask me to work in a week?
The maximum working hours shall be 48 hours per week and 8 hours per day. During Ramadan, this should be a maximum of 36 hours per week and 6 hours per day. If you are working more than 8 hours a day, you are eligible for overtime pay.
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Disclaimer: The information posted above should only be used as a reference. For more updated guidelines, please contact Qatar Labour and the appropriate authorities.
Reference: Qatar Legal Portal