A new law making it easier for expats to switch employers has officially come into force in Qatar.
To facilitate the legislation, the nation’s labor ministry has published a list of conditions regarding this provision.
It states for one that residents should remember they can only work for companies that have an approved visa to hire them.
This is because authorities in Qatar are very specific when granting work visas to companies based on profession, nationality and gender.
So for example, a Nepali blue-collar worker would only be able to switch jobs if his new company had an available work visa for a male Nepali laborer.
Other requirements include, according to a recent statement from the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labor & Social Affairs, that:
- An employee give 30 days notice to his employer about his plans to leave before his fixed-term contract ends;
- An employee on an open-ended contract gives 30 days notice to his employer about his plans to leave if he has been there for five years, or 60 days notice if he has been there for more than five years;
- The jobs involved are in the private sector only; and
- All applications and approvals are subject to terms and conditions announced by the labor ministry.
Expats over the age of 60
Additionally, the ministry said that expats over the age of 60 years old will not be able to switch employers.
This news comes on the heels of a report in Al Watan this week that Qatar plans to stop renewing the residency permits of expats over 60 years old.
The labor ministry has not confirmed this report, which stated the move was to help Qatarization goals and to make it easier to hire younger expats.
The age limit is one that officials have been mulling for some time, though the feasibility of replacing experienced workers with untested ones remains unclear.
Currently, the retirement age for most Qataris in public sector jobs is 60 years old, though this can be extended.