Domestic workers in Qatar to serve 9-month probation period

Domestic workers in Qatar to serve 9-month probation period By Darlene Regis - January 11, 2022
Domestic workers in Qatar to serve 9 months probation period

New Probation Period for Domestic Workers in Qatar

The Ministry of Labour in Qatar has decided to extend the probation period for domestic workers from 3 months to 9 months, effective January 8, 2022.

The said decision is in accordance with decision No. (21) of 2021 amending some provisions of decision No. (8) of 2005 regulating the conditions and procedures for licensing the recruitment of domestic workers from abroad for others.

Qatar is reported to have around 173,000 migrant workers who have domestic jobs in Qatar, with most coming from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and the Philippines.

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Probationary Period

The Ministry explained in a statement that recruiting agencies are obligated to guarantee for the employer a 9-month probationary period for the domestic worker. This means:

• In the first 3 months, employer has the right to terminate the employment contract and recover the full amount he paid to the recruitment office

• During the additional 6-month probationary period, the owner of the labour recruitment office is obligated to return the amounts paid by the employer, minus 15% of the total amount due, for each month the domestic worker spent during the additional probation period, with deduction of the government fees incurred by the office, in the following cases:

- Employee's refusal to work

- Employee runs away

- Employee's illness with a chronic disease

- Employee quits.

- Violation of the terms of contract by the employee

• According to this decision, recruitment agencies are obligated to guarantee the domestic worker an additional period of 6 months, starting immediately after the end of the preliminary probation period (3 months), bringing the total probation period to 9 months.

Domestic Workers Defined

According to Qatar Law No. 15 of 22 August 2017 which relates to domestic workers, a Domestic Worker, is defined as someone who carries out domestic work under the employer’s management and supervision in return for a wage such as:

- drivers

- cooks

- gardeners

- helpers

- maid

- nannies

- and workers in a similar occupation

Recruitment Contract

• To take advantage of the new guarantee, the contract must be signed by the employer after 8/1/2022.

• The conditions that must be adhered to in the recruitment contracts between the employer and recruitment agencies:

The employer has the right to set the conditions he deems appropriate in the recruitment contract between him and the office, provided that the following conditions are included:

- The type and nature of the work agreed upon

- Duration of the contract

- Any other conditions to be agreed upon, provided that the labor law is not violated

- The value of the wage accepted by the worker

The employer has the right to determine the recruitment period in agreement with the office, and the period begins immediately on the next day from the date of the contract.

To preserve the rights of the employer, he must obtain the contract certified by the recruitment office immediately after signing the contract.

The labour recruitment office is obligated to pay compensation to the employer in the amount of (1%) of the agreed-upon amount for each day of delay in the event of exceeding the period agreed upon in the contract for the arrival of the domestic worker.

Employers and Workers’ Rights

Meanwhile, the right of the employer shall also be forfeited if the employer assaults the worker and violates any of the terms of the contract with the worker.

The Ministry of Labour underlined that the Employment Department organised several consultative meetings with recruitment agencies during the past period, with the aim of introducing them to the provisions of the decision and its correct mechanisms for implementation in order guarantee the rights of employers to domestic workers in addition to the rights of the recruitment agencies.

The Ministry affirmed that it will continue to take all measures, decisions and instructions that will preserve the rights of employers to domestic workers in a way that relieves the burdens on the family in the Qatari society regarding the obligations arising from the breach of employment contracts or if the worker runs away.

Firm Monitoring

The Ministry stated that it will firmly monitor the implementation of the obligations stipulated in the law, regulations and instructions, and will intensify its inspection campaigns on recruitment offices, and will take legal measures against anyone who violates laws and decisions, calling on all employers to report any breach of contracts so that the competent department in the Ministry of Labor can take the necessary measures.

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By Darlene Regis - January 11, 2022

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