Understanding Employment Norms in Qatar: A Comprehensive Guide
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Hiring in Qatar? Read on to find out the employment norms (like taxes, payroll and benefits) and EOR (Employer on Record) norms in Qatar.

Employment norms in Qatar

Qatar has a well-established legal framework governing employment practices. This includes regulations covering working hours, leave entitlements, wages, and termination procedures. Understanding these employment norms is crucial for businesses operating in Qatar.

General Information:

  • The Qatar currency is the Qatari riyal(QAR).
  • Doha is the capital of Qatar.
  • Arabic is the official language of Qatar. Documentation can be in Arabic or any other language like English that the parties understand.
  • As of 2022, the GDP of Qatar was reported to be 315.88 Billion USD.
Qatar's labor laws cover areas such as working hours, minimum wages, employment contracts, and termination procedures. The laws aim to protect workers' rights and welfare.
Qatar map

Table of Contents

  • Agreements
  • Onboarding Process
  • Visa
  • Minimum Wage
  • Payroll Cycle
  • Annual Bonus
  • Health Benefits
  • Working hours and overtime
  • Leaves
  • Social Security
  • Taxes for Employers
  • Taxes for Employees
  • Probation
  • Termination
  • Probation
  • Severance Pay
  • Employees or Contractors
  • Final Words


  • The employment contract in Qatar must be in writing and certified by the MADLSA.
  • It should be written in Arabic and another language (such as English) that the parties understand.
  • The contract should be issued in three copies: one for each party and one to be deposited with the MADLSA.
  • The contract must contain the employer's name and location, and the worker's name, qualifications, nationality, profession, and place of residence.
  • The contract should specify the date of signing and the start of work, the job description, and the workplace.
  • If the contract is for a fixed term, the duration should be specified.
  • The agreed salary, benefits (including accommodation, transportation, and food), and payment details should be included.
  • The probation period should also be mentioned in the contract.
Onboarding Process

Onboarding Process

  • The onboarding process for new employees includes several steps.
  • It begins with the issuance of an offer letter and employment contract.
  • Verification and documentation of the employee's details are also conducted.
  • The new employee undergoes orientation and training to familiarize themselves with the company.
  • They are introduced to their team and other stakeholders.
  • The company provides them with the necessary tools and resources to perform their job.
  • The new employee's performance is monitored and feedback is provided.
  • Ongoing support is provided to help the employee succeed in their role.


Qtar has 13 types of Visas:
  • Tourist Visa: For visitors to Qatar for tourism purposes.
  • Business Visa: For those who wish to visit Qatar for business purposes.
  • Investor Visa: Foreigners who invest in specific businesses in Qatar can obtain residency without a sponsor.
  • GCC Resident Visit Visa: GCC residents and their companions who are engaged in approved professions are eligible to apply for a one-month GCC Resident Visit Visa upon arrival or through a Qatari embassy.
  • Family Visit Visa: Expatriate workers can apply for a Family Visit Visa to bring their immediate family members to Qatar for up to six months.
  • Family Residence Visa: Expatriates working in Qatar and earning at least QR10,000 per month are eligible to apply for a Family Residence Visa if they have been employed for six months and wish to bring their immediate dependents to live with them.
  • Transit Visa: To make a temporary stopover in Qatar for up to 24 hours, travelers need to apply for a Transit Visa before their travel. This type of visa allows leaving the airport transfers area and staying in Qatar.
  • Newborn Visa: Infants who are under three months old and entering Qatar with their mother require a Newborn Visa, which is free of charge.
  • Education Residence Visa: If you have enrolled in an approved educational institution in Qatar and want to stay in the country for the duration of your course, you can apply for an Education Residence Visa.
  • Real Estate Visa: The Real Estate Residence Visa is issued by the General Directorate of Borders Passports and Expatriates Affairs at the MoI for real estate owners.
  • Return Visa: If you or any member of your family or household staff have been out of Qatar for more than six months and have a valid residency and approval for entry, you can apply for a Return Visa.
  • Return Visa (in case of Passport loss): The Lost Passport Visa is issued to expatriates who have lost their passport outside the country.
  • Official Visa: Authorized government ministries and approved establishments can apply for this visa online free of charge.

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Minimum Wage

Minimum Wage

The minimum wage in Qatar is 1,000 Qatari riyals ($275) per month, per the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labor and Social Affairs (MADLSA).
Payroll Cycle

Payroll Cycle

Employers in Qatar are required to pay their employees who are on an annual or monthly contract at least once every month.
Annual Bonus

Annual Bonus

In Qatar, providing a 13th-month salary or bonus is not mandatory by law.
Health Benefits

Health Benefits

  • In Qatar, employers are legally required to provide their employees with health insurance coverage, which includes medical care, hospitalization, and medication.
  • The scope of the coverage and the premium amount depends on the type of plan provided by the employer.
  • Additionally, some employers may offer additional health benefits such as dental and vision insurance.
Working hours and overtime

Working hours and overtime

  • Work hours: In Qatar, the standard working hours are 8 hours per day and 48 hours per week, with Friday as the weekly day off. During Ramadan, working hours are reduced to 6 hours per day or 36 hours per week.
  • Break: In Qatar, employees are entitled to a break of not less than one hour after five consecutive hours of work. This break is usually unpaid unless otherwise agreed upon between the employer and employee.
  • Overtime: Overtime work is permitted, but the maximum overtime work hours should not exceed 2 hours per day or 12 hours per week. Overtime work should be paid at a rate of at least 125% of the basic hourly wage.


Sick leaves

  • An employee is entitled to a sick leave of not more than two weeks for each year of service if they are unable to work due to illness or injury.
  • During sick leave, the employer must pay the employee full salary for the first two weeks.
  • It is important to note that employees are required to provide a medical certificate to their employer to prove their illness or injury.

Parental leaves

  • Female employees are entitled to 50 days of paid maternity leave, with the possibility of an additional 15 days of unpaid leave.
  • Male employees are entitled to three days of paid paternity leave.
  • Additionally, female employees employed for at least one year are entitled to two hours of paid time off per day for up to six months to care for their child.

Annual leaves

  • Employees are entitled to an annual leave of three weeks (21 days) for the first five years of employment.
  • After five years, the annual leave is extended to four weeks (28 days). Employers may grant additional leave as per the employment contract.

Public Holidays (for the Calendar year 2023)

  • New Year's Day (1 January)
  • National Sports Day (14 February)
  • March bank holiday (6 March)
  • Eid al-Fitr Holiday (21 April)
  • Eid al-Fitr Holiday (22 April)
  • Eid al-Fitr Holiday (23 April)
  • Eid al-Adha Holiday (27 June)
  • Eid al-Adha Holiday (28 June)
  • Eid al-Adha Holiday (29 June)
  • National Day (18 December).

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Social Security

Social Security

According to the Social Security Law in Qatar, Qatari nationals working in the government or private sector for more than a year and aged 18 or above must be enrolled in the social security scheme.
  • Contributions are calculated based on the basic salary plus social and housing allowance, capped at 100,000 QAR.
  • The contribution rate is 21%, with 7% deducted from the employee's salary and 14% paid by the employer.
  • Any housing allowance up to 6,000 QAR counts towards pension contribution.
Taxes for Employers

Taxes for Employers

  • Pension- 14%
  • The standard corporate income tax rate in Qatar is 10%, which is applied to all taxable income, subject to some exceptions.

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Taxes for Employees

Taxes for Employees

  • Pension- 7%
  • Individuals in Qatar, whether ex-pats or Qatari nationals are not supposed to pay income tax on their salaries, wages, or allowances.
  • However, those who participate in commercial activities for profit are required to pay taxes. This includes self-employed workers in the country.


  • According to Qatar's Labor Law, an employer is allowed to have a maximum of 6 months probation period for an employee.
  • During this, the employer can terminate the employment if the employee is deemed unfit for the job, with a notice of three days in writing.

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  • Article 49 of the Labour Law in Qatar allows for the termination of an indefinite or unlimited contract by either the employer or the employee with written notice, without giving a reason.
  • Notice periods vary based on the length of employment, and immediate termination without notice or end-of-service gratuity is allowed for employees who commit gross misconduct, such as falsifying documents, causing financial loss to the employer, or being intoxicated or under the influence of drugs during working hours.


  • According to Qatar's Labor Law, an employer is allowed to have a maximum of 6 months probation period for an employee.
  • During this, the employer can terminate the employment if the employee is deemed unfit for the job, with a notice of three days in writing.
Severance Pay

Severance Pay

  • In Qatar, severance pay is known as end-of-service gratuity (EOSG), which is a lump-sum payment made to an employee at the end of their employment contract.
  • The amount of EOSG depends on the length of the employee's service, with longer periods of service resulting in a higher payment.
  • The Labour Law requires employers to pay EOSG to employees who have completed at least one year of continuous service.
  • Employers must also pay EOSG to employees whose employment is terminated during the probationary period unless the termination is due to gross misconduct.
Employees or Contractors

Employees or Contractors

  • Under the Qatar Labour Law, misclassifying an employee as a contractor or vice versa can result in penalties such as fines and other legal liabilities
  • Employers are required to properly classify their employees according to their job responsibilities, working hours, and other factors to avoid such penalties.
Final Words

Final Words

Qatar has a well-defined set of employment norms and regulations in place that ensure fair treatment of employees. The country provides numerous opportunities for both local and foreign nationals, with a focus on developing a highly skilled workforce. Qatar offers attractive tax policies, with no income tax on salaries, wages, or allowances, and a low corporate tax rate. The country also has a growing social security system in place to support its citizens and residents. Overall, Qatar offers a promising environment for job seekers and businesses alike.

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