[LEGAL COLUMN] On Gratuity and Benefits
If you are living and working in Qatar, you, like most others, have a lot of questions on the laws that govern you. JustHere receives dozens of labour-related queries from our readers every week. In this column, advocate Ghada M Darwish provides legal clarification on the oft-asked questions.
In the second installment of the series, we address issues regarding gratuity and extra benefits.
[Q] My company states that employees are entitled for end of service benefits only within 10 years of employment. What if we have worked for more that 10 years? Do we still get end of service benefits?[GD] The employer shall give the end of service benefit to the worker who spent in work one whole year or more. That said that you are entitled to receive end of service benefit if the employee works for more than 10 years in the same company.
[Q] I resigned my last job 3 months before the end of my two-year contract. Since I didn’t complete my contract, my company said I am not entitled for gratuity. Is this true?[GD] Article (51) of Labour Law provides that “The worker may terminate the work contract before its termination if its period is determined, without informing the employer, if its period is undetermined, in keeping his total rights of the end of service compensation, in each of the following cases:
- If the employer fails to fulfill his obligations decided in the work contract or upon this law.
- If the employer or the acting manager makes a physical aggression or any immoral act against the worker or his family members.
- If the employer or his representative cheated the worker at the time of contract concerning the work conditions.
- If there exists a severe danger that threatens the safety of the worker, or his health in condition that the employer knows about the danger and doesn’t work on eliminating it.
[Q] According to the labour law, when is an employee entitled for end of service benefits? I worked in Qatar for four years, but after resignation, I didn’t get a single penny.[GD] As mentioned above, the employer shall give the end of service benefit to the worker who spent in work one whole year or more. In this case a complaint should be lodged with the Human Rights Department at the MOI. The complaint must demonstrate that the employer/sponsor is indeed abusing his power.
[Q] Does the Labour Law state that annual round-trip ticket to home country is a mandatory benefit?[GD] The Qatari labour law did not regulate issuing tickets for annual leave. On the other hand the sponsor shall undertake repatriate the sponsored person upon the expiry or cancellation of the residence permit or upon deportation order. Accordingly, annual leave tickets are subject to the administrative aspects of each company separately and are subject to the agreement between the worker and the company operates.
[Q] After how many years of service is an employee entitled for an annual ticket back home?[GD] Initially the employer is not entitled for an annual ticket, unless the employment contract provides that. However, as matter of practice the employee is entitled for an annual leave for not less than 3 weeks for the employee who served less than five years and 4 weeks for the employee who served for five years or more.
[Q] Is it legal to impose plane ticket budget for expats, where expats are required to pay the excess amount?[GD]As mentioned above, the employer is not entitled for an annual ticket, unless the employment contract provides that. However, if the employment contract provides an annual ticket, then the company is responsible for issuing the ticket in its own cost. Also, the company may be allocated to a lump sum allowance for that rather than providing the said ticket.
[Q] Are only married employees eligible for accommodation and transport allowance? Since I am unmarried, my company refused to give me accommodation allowance.[GD] The Qatari labour law did not regulate the allowance in general. Therefore, it is subject to agreement between the employer and his company.
[Q] My company has not paid my salary of last six months. What should I do?[GD]A complain a complaint should be lodged with the Labour Department (see box for contact details).
Note: If you have a query, please leave a comment. The queries, if not already covered in this or an earlier piece, will be addressed in subsequent installments of the legal column.
Next column: Leave benefits and working hours
Disclaimer: Neither the law firm of Advocate Ghada Darwish nor JustHere is responsible for actions taken on information mentioned here. All efforts have been taken to provide accurate response to the queries.