Qatar - HR & HR Software Guide

Country Overview:

Qatar has one of the richest economies in the world with a GDP per capita of $124,529. The country’s oil and gas sectors backed by rich oil reserves and world’s 3rd largest gas reserves are the major drivers of the economy, which account for more than 50% of the total revenue. Growth in financial services and manufacturing has helped the economy diversify. Qatar adopts flexible policies to encourage foreign investments including robust infrastructure, stable banking sector, competent investment laws, nominal land-lease prices in industrial areas, and duty exemption on imported machinery. The total value of imports and exports of the country is equal to 89.1% of GDP.


Qatari Riyal

Principal Language:



Constitutional Monarchy

Capital City:


Major Provinces: 

Al Rayyan, Umm Salal Muhammad, Al Wakrah, Al Khor

Work schedule cannot be more than 48 hours in a week over 6 days. Weekly work hours are reduced to 36 during the month of Ramadan. Employees are entitled to 1 day rest in a week, mostly Friday, and most companies provide a Friday-Saturday weekend. Some exceptions related to maximum work hours apply to certain types of work and shift workers.


Employees who work overtime are entitled to 25% of premium over their regular wages. Employees who work between 9 p.m. and 6 p.m. receive 50% of premium over their regular wages except shift workers. Overtime cannot exceed 2 hours in a day. Managers do not qualify for overtime pay.


Overall 10 national holidays are observed in Qatar:

  • Eid Al Adha (3 days)
  • Eid Al Fitr (3 days)
  • Independence Day
  • Three working days to be mentioned by the employer

Employees who work on a national holiday receive 250% of their regular wages and an additional day off.

Annual Leave

Employees with at least 1 year of continuous service can take at least 3 weeks of paid vacation in a year. This period increases to 4 weeks after an employee completes 5 years’ service. Employees are also entitled to 3 days off on the dates decided by their employer, generally for periods that a company remains closed such as New Year’s Day or non-Islamic festivals.

Wages for vacation period must be paid in advance to those taking the vacation. Employers in consultation with employees decide when the leave can be taken and if the leave should be split into two periods.

Maternity Leave

Under the Labor Law, pregnant employees who have completed at least a year of employment before the beginning of the leave are entitled to 50 days’ maternity leave. They are also required to furnish a medical certificate issued by an authorized doctor specifying the expected date of delivery. Maternity leave can be taken both before and after delivery but women must plan for at least 35 weeks of leave post-delivery. In case the maternity leave available post-delivery is less than 30 days, women can use their annual or unpaid leave to bridge the gap. If an employee is unable to return to work after maternity leave is over, she can take a maximum of 60 additional sick leave.

Paternity Leave

In Qatar, there is no provision for paternity leave.

Sick Leave

The initial two weeks’ sick leave is paid at 100% of regular wages, the next four weeks at 50%, and the rest is unpaid for a maximum of 12 weeks of sick leave in a year. Employees cannot take sick leave unless they have worked for at least 3 months with the employer. Employees can be terminated after 12 weeks if a doctor’s report shows that they are unable to return to work.

Other Leaves

All Muslim employees are entitled to 20 days’ unpaid special leave once to undertake Hajj. Employers can decide the number of employees who can take this leave based on work requirements. The priority should be based on the service length.

Pensions and Social Security

Under the Labor Law, 60 is the retirement age for men and 55 for women who have contributed for 15 years to the social security fund. The pension benefit is paid at 5% of employees’ gross wages in the last 5 years before the retirement. The minimum monthly pension is 75% of employees’ monthly salary and the maximum is 100%. In case of early retirement, the pension is decreased by 2 to 2.5% for each year the pension is received before the legal retirement age. Employees contribute 5% of their gross salaries to the combined disability, old-age, and survivors’ fund while employers contribute 10% of gross payroll.

Workers’ Compensation

Employees who get injured during work are entitled to medical treatment paid by the employer and to their full wages during the treatment or for 6 months, whichever is shorter. If the treatment continues beyond 6 months, employees must receive 50% pay until their recovery or death or proof of permanent disability.

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