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BASIC COUNTRY FACTS

Qatar

Doha

  • Arabic

2.782 million

Qatari Riyal

.qa

+974

Qatari Riyal

STATUTORY LABOR REQUIREMENTS

Probation Period

  • The maximum probation period is 6 months.

Annual Leave

  • Statutory Minimum:  an employee who has completed one year of continuous service is entitled to annual leave with pay as follows:
  • 1 to 5 years’ service: 3 weeks paid leave
  • 5 years’ service or more: 4 weeks paid leave

Public Holidays

  1. Qatar National Sports Day (11th February)
  2. Eid al-Fitr
  3. Eid al-Adha
  4. National Day (18th December)

Maternity Leave

  • Female employees are entitled to 50 days’ maternity leave if they have worked for the company for an entire year. 
  • Up to 15 days may be taken before the birth and at least 35 days must be taken after. 
  • Women are eligible to take additional time as unpaid or as annual leave.

Paternity Leave

  • There is no statutory paternity leave, but many companies offer fathers 3 to 5 days of paid leave.

Sick Leave

  • Employees in Qatar are entitled to paid sick leave after completing three months in service. 
  • Employees can take up to two weeks. 
  • A medical certificate must be submitted to claim this benefit.

Work Hours

  • The maximum is 48 hours per week, 8 hours per day.  
  • During Ramadan this is reduced to 36 hours per week, 6 hours per day.

Overtime

  • When actual working hours exceed the regular working hours, the additional time shall be considered overtime work and the worker shall receive for those hours his regular pay plus an additional 25% at least for overtime

Notice Period

  • In general, a 30-day notice period is required for employees on an indefinite contract if the employee has been employed less than 5 years.  
  • If the period of service is more than five years, the notification period is at least two months prior to the date of termination.

Severance

  • All employees who have completed more than one year of employment at an organization are entitled to end of service benefits in Qatar. 
  • The compensation due includes the base wage plus the cost of living allowance, if any, and:
    • 3 weeks for each year of service up to 5 years of continuous service.
    • 4 weeks for each year of service for the second 5 years of continuous service.
    • 5 weeks for each year of service for the following 10 years of service.
    • 6 weeks for each year of service which exceed 20 years of continuous service.

13th Month Salary in Brazil

  • No
  • There is no statutory requirement to pay the 13th or 14th month salary.
  • Bonuses are common in various forms such as children school tuition, houses, cars etc.

INCOME TAX

  • Qatar operates a territorial taxation system, which means an individual is taxable in Qatar if one has generated qualifying Qatar-source income, regardless of one's tax residence.
  • Income tax is not imposed on employed individuals' salaries, wages, and allowances.
  • A self-employed individual may be subject to income tax if one derives qualifying income from sources in Qatar.

IMMIGRATION 

  • Foreign nationals may work in Qatar only if they have valid employment contracts sponsored by companies’ resident in Qatar. 
  • An employment (work) visa is issued only if the applicant’s employment contract is approved by the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labor and Social Affairs. 
  • Foreign nationals may work only for the particular company that sponsors them. 
  • A transfer of employment from one sponsor to another requires the approval of the Department of Immigration at the Ministry of Interior (MOI). 
  • Under the provisions of the New Immigration Law, which became effective as of December 2016, a foreign national does not have to leave the country after the expiration of a fixed-term contract and before taking up a new contract in the state. 
  • Foreign nationals can also change jobs before their contract ends if they obtain permission from their sponsor, the MOI, and the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labor and Social Affairs. 
  • Foreign nationals with open-ended contracts can seek this approval after five years in their initial job.
  • The Law on the Entry, Exit and Residency of Foreign Nationals Law No. 13 of 2018 was issued on 4 September 2018, amending certain provisions of Law No. 21 of 2015. 
  • Under the amendment, Article 7 of Law No. 21 of 2015 has been replaced with a provision that stipulates that an expatriate worker covered under Qatar’s Labor Law has the right to temporarily or permanently exit the country at any time throughout the duration of his or her employment contract without an exit permit. 
  • However, an employer may submit a prior application to the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labor and Social Affairs with the names of the employees that it deems necessary to obtain pre-approval before the employees leave the country due to the nature of their work.
  • The percentage of such workers cannot exceed 5% of the total number of employees. Employment visas are valid from one to five years and are renewable. 
  • Application for employment visas should be made in Qatar. 
  • The application process takes approximately two to four weeks after all documents are received from a foreign national. 
  • The following documents are required from an applicant: 
    • A passport 
    • Four passport-size photos 
    • Educational certificates 
    • For certain nationalities, a health declaration 
    • Proof that the applicant has no criminal record

Type of Visa/Permit

Documentation

Validity

Eligibility

Employment Visa

  • A passport 
  • Four passport-size photos 
  • Educational certificates 
  • For certain nationalities, a health declaration 
  • Proof that the applicant has no criminal record

3 months                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

  • An employment (work) visa is issued only if the applicant’s employment contract is approved by the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labor and Social Affairs. 
  • Foreign nationals may work only for the particular company that sponsors them. 

Business Visa

  • Completed application form
  • Passport
  • Passport size pictures
  • Company details

2 weeks (can be extended to

4 weeks)

  • The primary purpose of the Qatar business visa is for employees who will travel to Qatar and will work for a Qatari company for a short term.
  • Only government-approved sponsors may sponsor business visas.

VALUE ADDED TAX

  • The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries have signed a VAT common framework, which forms the legal basis for the introduction of a VAT system in each of the GCC member states (Kingdom of Bahrain, State of Kuwait, Sultanate of Oman, State of Qatar, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates).
  • The laws and respective executive regulations have not been published yet. It was expected that VAT, at the rate of 5%, would be implemented in 2018 or 2019. 
  • However, it has been recently confirmed that VAT will not be introduced in 2019, and currently no official announcement has been made to confirm when VAT will actually be implemented in Qatar.

WITHHOLDING TAX

Dividends

  • Qatar does not levy withholding tax on dividends

Interest

  • Interest is subject to a 7% withholding tax, with certain exceptions
  • The rate may be further reduced under a tax treaty

Royalties

  • Royalties are subject to a 5% withholding tax
  • Certain leasing charges may be considered royalties
  • The rate may be further reduced under a tax treaty

Technical Service Fees

  • Technical service fees paid to a nonresident are subject to a 5% withholding tax

WHT

Dividends

0%

Interest

7%

Royalties

5%

Technical Service Fees

5%

TERMINATION

  • The Article 49 of labor Law states that if the employee is employed for an indefinite term, he may be terminated by either the employer or employee, giving written notice to the other. 
  • No reason for such termination will have to be given by the party serving notice. 
  • Various minimum notice periods are set out in the labor Law, but, in general, once the employee successfully adheres to the terms of probation period, at least one-month notice should be given to employees who have been employed by the same employer for a period of five years, and two months for employees who have completed more than five years of service.
  • All employees who have completed more than one year of employment at an organization are entitled to end of service benefits in Qatar. 
  • The compensation due includes the base wage plus the cost of living allowance, if any, and:
    • 3 weeks for each year of service up to 5 years of continuous service.
    • 4 weeks for each year of service for the second 5 years of continuous service.
    • 5 weeks for each year of service for the following 10 years of service.
    • 6 weeks for each year of service which exceed 20 years of continuous service.

STATUTORY BENEFITS

  • These are mandatory benefits as postulated by law
  • These include probationary period, annual leave, public holidays, sick leave, maternity leave, overtime pay, notice period, and severance pay
  • Statutory benefits also include social security benefits

Statutory Benefits

Probationary Period

Annual Leave

Public Holidays

Maternity Leave

Sick Leave

Overtime Pay

Notice Period

Severance Pay

Social Security Benefits

PAYMENTS AND INVOICING

The General Tax Authority (GTA) deals with the tax affairs of both corporate and individual.

EASE OF DOING BUSINESS 

  • The ease of doing business index is an index created by Simeon Djankov, an economist at the Central and Eastern Europe sector of the World Bank Group.
  • Higher rankings (a low numerical value) indicate better, usually simpler, regulations for businesses and stronger protections of property rights.
  • According to the World Bank Qatar ranked 77th in the World in 2019 in terms of ease of doing business.

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