This country has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the world. Qatar’s government has succeeded in creating job opportunities for hundreds of thousands of locals and foreigners. If you are also applying for a job in Qatar, it is essential to know the laws related to working in Qatar. Emphasis is on Qatar Labor Law: Working Hours.

Working hours in Qatar may vary. But if you are going for a job there, you should go with a proper understanding of the timings. Sections 73 to 77 of Qatar’s labor laws deal with working hours in Qatar.

Legal working hours in Qatar

According to Qatar labor law, working hours are only 8 hours per day or 48 hours per week. But that changes during the month of Ramadan. That is, during that period, the legal working time in Qatar is 36 hours per week or 6 hours per day. 

In addition, during the summer season, i.e., from June 15 to August 30, working outdoors or in an open space for one hour is prohibited. Working in open areas during the relevant period is not permitted from 11 am to 3 pm. Also, every employee is entitled to one rest day per week and a daily rest period.

Time off at work in Qatar

  • Any employee is prohibited from working more than 5 hours continuously.
  • They should have intervals of specific hours for praying, eating, and short rest.
  • It should be at least one-hour maximum but not more than 3 hours.
  • That time is not taken into account for working hours.
  • Friday is the weekly rest day for all employees except those who work on the hours of a respective shift.
  • The rest day they get is 24 consecutive hours at maximum. Also, on this rest day, the employee receives compensation.
  • All workers, except one who works a shift, are only required to work up to two consecutive Fridays.
  • If the employee has to work on the rest day due to any need, he can get another day for his rest day. Also, the salary they receive for average weekly rest days will be obtained along with their basic salary.

Qatar Labor Law: Compensation for working on holidays

Clear rules also apply when an employee is required to work on a day off. By that time,

  • One more day should be paid as compensation to the employee concerned.
  • For working on a rest day, the employee does not have to pay the wages due for the regular weekly rest day.
  • The employer shall make an additional payment to the employee equal to the basic salary and at least from his salary.

Qatar Labor Law: Weekly leave

Qatar’s Labor Law also mentions weekly paid rest days. That is, the employee should receive weekly paid rest. It is also essential that it is at least 24 consecutive hours. The weekly rest day applies to all employees except those on the Friday shift schedule. Every employee should get one day off every week, which is Friday.

But consecutive Friday work is also mentioned in Qatar Labor Law: Working Hours. If the employee doesn’t work on a shift schedule, employment is prohibited for more than two consecutive Fridays.

Qatar Labor Law on Overtime

What is overtime? Any time an employee works in addition to his regular working hours can be called overtime. According to the labor law of Qatar, there is an additional payment for such overtime.

It can be decided based on the needs of the employee. An employee can work more than the maximum number of hours allowed. But they should be at most 10 hours of daily working time.

Overtime pay for work in Qatar

Overtime is paid in two ways, for extra hours and night work. Workers required to work overtime are entitled to receive overtime pay. According to Qatari law, the employer must pay the worker for overtime a payment not less than the basic wage payable for regular working hours and an additional salary of not less than 25%. 

The employer must pay the workers a bonus from the basic compensation and not less than the basic salary for the extra working hours. The wage rate must be at least 125% of the hourly wage.

Overtime payments for night work are also mentioned separately in Qatar Labor Law: Working Hours. Someone who works overtime during the night will receive more and above the average overtime pay. According to Qatari law, employers must pay workers who work between 9:00 pm and 6:00 am the basic salary plus an additional payment of not less than 50%, except for workers who work on a shift schedule.

Any worker who works night overtime will receive at least 150% of the average hourly wage. But the rule does not apply to workers on shift schedules.

Persons exempted from the provisions of the Qatar Labor Law

Sections 73, 74, and 75 of the Qatar Labor Law do not apply. That is people who hold critical positions in Qatar. In particular, the people to whom Article 73 does not apply are,

  • Security guards and cleaning staff
  • Employees whose maximum working hours are limited by order of the Minister of Labour
  • Workers who perform ancillary tasks to be completed before or after working hours

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the salary increment law in Qatar?

The wage increase law means that the employer must pay the employee an increase of not less than 25% of the overtime and not less than the basic wage for regular working hours.

Q. How to calculate holiday pay in Qatar?

According to Article 72 of the Qatari Labor Law, the employee’s salary and final gratuity during sick leave or annual leave shall be calculated based on the basic wage on the date of entitlement.

Q. How much salary can be deducted by Qatar labor law?

In all cases, the amount withheld from the employee shall not exceed 35% of his salary. Also, the employer should not collect interest for any loan given to the employee.

Q. How many days of sick leave are there in Qatar?

According to Section 50 of the labor Law in Qatar, an employee who has completed six consecutive months of service is entitled to paid sick leave. But only if his illness is certified within the applicable limits by a licensed physician approved by the employer.

Final thoughts

Working in Qatar may be your dream too. Although many ex-pats go to work in Qatar, they do not have explicit knowledge about legal issues. Always leave knowing the correct information about Qatari law, working hours, and holidays. Our Qatar Labor Law: Working Hours guide above will help you with that.