Expand your organization into Qatareven if you don’t have a Qatari entity
The small Middle Eastern nation of Qatar makes up for what it lacks in size in economic strength. Its huge oil and natural gas reserves have resulted in the explosive economic growth of the last century, and its GDP per capita is now one of the highest in the world. While the economy is undoubtedly largely founded on its natural resources, the country has branched out in recent years and now has several other successful industries including financial services and tourism.
Investing and expanding your business in Qatar can have massive benefits, but it is not always a simple process. The country has a unique set of business and employment laws, language barriers, and cultural differences that can make it hard for foreign organizations to work effectively, and delays are not uncommon.
At New Horizons, we offer advice and support organizations planning to expand into Qatar. Our bespoke professional employer organization (Qatar PEO), employer of record, and payroll services can offer everything needed to expand your business into Qatar, whether or not you have already established a Qatari entity.
Using our dedicated in-house recruitment team, we can also source, hire, and onboard your new workforce in Qatar, as well as manage any ongoing HR and compliance administration. Our dedicated team will provide everything you need to expand into Qatar as efficiently as possible and could drastically cut your expansion costs.
Our Qatar PEO simplifies your expansion
New Horizons enables your business to expand operations into Qatar – without setting up a legal subsidiary.
Hiring in Qatar: Employment law overview
Employment contracts in Qatar
Employees in Qatar are legally entitled to a written employment contract when they are hired for a position. While English is widely spoken in Qatar, these contracts should generally be written in the official language of Arabic. Contracts should also include all of the relevant details of employment, such as salary/wage, expected working hours, and any benefit or entitlements that the employees will receive. Any references to compensation should be in the local currency of the Qatari riyal.
By partnering with our Qatar PEO, New Horizons’ team of local experts can provide assistance for drafting strong employment contracts that are compliant with local regulations.
Working hours in Qatar
For most of the year, the maximum working week in Qatar is 48 hours, with a limit of eight hours per day. However, the country operates at a reduced working week of 36 hours during Ramadan.
Public holidays in Qatar
Qatar vacation leave
The mandatory minimum paid vacation in Qatar depends on the length of service with an employer. For one to five years of service, employees are entitled to three weeks of paid vacation leave. For more than five years of service, employees are entitled to four weeks of paid vacation leave.
As Qatar is a strongly religious country, Muslim employees are also entitled to a one-off period of religious leave of two weeks (unpaid) for pilgrimages.
Qatar sick leave
After three months of service with an employer, and when they can present a doctor’s note, employees in Qatar are entitled to up to two weeks of sick leave.
Parental leave in Qatar
Women who have been with a company for at least one year are entitled to 50 days of maternity leave. Of this allowance, 15 days can be taken before childbirth and a minimum of 35 days can be taken after. They can also take extra time beyond this, but it is unpaid.
Male employees are not entitled to any paternity leave, but many companies choose to offer an allowance as part of their benefits packages.
Terminations and severance in Qatar
Employees in Qatar are legally entitled to severance benefits after one year of service with their employer. The payment is the equivalent of:
- Three weeks of pay for every year worked up to five years of employment.
- Four weeks of pay for every year between six and ten years of employment.
- Five weeks of pay for every year between 11 and 20 years of employment.
- Six weeks of pay for every year over 20 years of employment.
The payment also includes a cost of living allowance.
Usually, employees who have been employed for less than five years are entitled to 30 days of notice when employers terminate their indefinite-term contracts, or two months for employees of more than five years.
Navigating employee terminations and handling severance packages can be complicated for companies expanding overseas for the first time. New Horizons’ Qatar PEO can mitigate risk for foreign companies and provide guidance through this process.
Taxation in Qatar
Employees in Qatar are not subject to any income tax.
Health coverage in Qatar
Qatar nationals can access state-funded healthcare either for free or heavily subsidized. Foreign employees will generally need private coverage, so employers may choose to offer private insurance as part of their benefits packages.
Qatar compensations & benefits
Compensation laws in Qatar
As of late 2020, the minimum wage in Qatar is 1,000 riyals per month.
Benefit management in Qatar
It is common for employers in Qatar to offer benefits packages to their workers. However, establishing a benefits system in Qatar can be complicated, especially if you are unfamiliar with the country’s unique set of labor laws and administrative procedures.
New Horizons can help you fast-track this phase of your Qatar expansion by providing tailored benefit management services. Our experienced team can advise you on the standard practice and handle all of your benefit management, allowing you to focus on the work of expanding your organization in Qatar.