When an employee wants to resign from their current job but their employer refuses to accept their resignation, it can create a difficult situation. In this case, the employee needs to know the legal and appropriate course of action to take, as resigning in a hostile manner can have negative consequences and reflect poorly on their employment history during a background check by potential future employers.
As per Qatari labour law, if the employer refuses to accept an employee’s resignation despite the employee submitting a resignation that meets the notice period criteria specified in their employment contract, the fault lies with the employer and not the employee.
Article 49 of the current labour law states:
If a service contract is of an indefinite duration, either party can terminate it without providing any reasons for the termination. The party intending to terminate the contract must notify the other party in writing.
The Notice Period is the timeframe given by the party which is terminating the contract of the employment. It depends completely o the employee’s period of service. Here is the breakup:
For the employees who receive a monthly salary:
- Less than 5 years: one month notice
- More than 5 years: two-month notice
For the employees who are on a contract basis and receive a salary on an hourly, daily, or weekly basis:
- Less than 1 year: one week notice
- More than 1 year and but less than 5 years: two weeks’ notice
- More than 5 years: one month notice
The notice period is a legal way of asking out of the contract of the employment and failing to do so appropriately means that the party who is terminating the contract will require paying compensation to the other party. In that case, the party needs to pay compensation equivalent to the wage of the notice period or the remaining part of it.
Conditions for the contractual employers
For the employees with limited contracts, if they wish to change jobs within the contract period, they will require having a No Objection Certificate (NOC) to switch jobs. If the employer does not give the NOC or refuses to give a NOC, then the employees would be banned from working in Qatar for the remaining part of the contract. Once the contract period gets over, the employee would be free to take on new employment without having to take any permission.
If the contract is an open-ended one, the employee would require a NOC if they have worked with the company for less than five years and if the employer refuses to give the NOC, the employee would be banned from working in Qatar for the remaining part of the contract till five years. If they have worked for the employer for five years, the employees need not take any approval before switching the company.
Read More : How to Change Jobs Without NOC in Qatar?
The government has brought in some reforms and reliefs in this regard where an employee can terminate the contract before its expiry and yet gets to keep their rights and sums including gratuity. This is applicable if,
- The employer has breached their obligations in the said contract
- The employer or manager assaults the employee physically or commits an immoral act on the employee or their family
- The employer misguided the employee about the contract at the start of the employment
- The job is dangerous and puts the employee’s health in crisis.
Wages during the notice period
As per the law, the employee must be given a full salary during the notice period. Once the notice period ends, salary and the other owed sums must be paid the employee before the end of the day. If the employee has not taken leave days during the employment, the employer must pay them for the left leaves.
Conditions of Repatriation
If an employee belongs to another country and has terminated the service, then the employer would be required to pay the cost required for the employee to return their home country. This sum needs to be given to the employee within two weeks after the termination of the contract. The employer would be exempted from this if the employee is joining another employer in Qatar.
Article (50) of the Labour Law: Compensation upon Termination
If either the employee or employer terminates the contract without giving prior notice, the terminating party is required to compensate the other party for the notice period or the remaining duration of the notice period.
When the employer terminates the contract, they are required to pay the worker their salary for the full notice period, provided that the worker fulfills their obligations during that period. Additionally, the employer should give the employee enough time to look for another job since they are the ones terminating the contract.
Article (51) of the Labour Law: When can employees terminate the contract
Employees may feel hesitant to terminate their contract, particularly when they are in a foreign country. However, the law allows a worker to terminate the contract before its defined duration expires or without giving any reasons if the contract has an indefinite duration. If the contract is terminated due to specific circumstances, the employee may be entitled to receive their full end-of-service gratuity.
Employees in Qatar have the right to terminate their contract in certain cases without risking their end of service gratuity, according to the Qatar Labour Law. These cases include:
- The employer breaching their obligations under the service contract or the provisions of the law.
- The employer or their manager committing physical assault or immoral acts against the employee or their family member.
- The employer or their representative misleading the worker about the terms and conditions of the job at the time of entering into the service contract.
- The work posing a danger to the safety and health of the worker, and the employer not taking necessary steps to remove the danger despite being aware of it.
FAQs about employee resignation or Termination in Qatar
Here are some FAQs about employee resignation in Qatar:
What is the notice period for resignation in Qatar?
- The notice period for resignation in Qatar is generally determined by the employment contract. If the contract does not specify a notice period, the notice period must be reasonable and should not be less than one month.
Can an employee resign without serving the notice period in Qatar?
- An employee can resign without serving the notice period in Qatar, but they may be required to pay compensation to the employer.
What are the reasons for which an employee can resign in Qatar?
- An employee can resign in Qatar for any reason, but if they want to avoid any legal consequences, they can resign if the employer violates their obligations under the service contract or the provisions of the law, commits physical assault or immoral acts against the employee or their family member, or if the work poses a danger to the safety and health of the worker and the employer does not take necessary steps to remove the danger despite being aware of it.
Can an employer refuse to accept an employee’s resignation in Qatar?
- An employer cannot refuse to accept an employee’s resignation if the notice period specified in the employment contract has been fulfilled.
Is the employer required to give notice before terminating an employee’s contract in Qatar?
- Yes, the employer is required to give notice before terminating an employee’s contract in Qatar, except in cases where the employee has committed a serious breach of the employment contract.
What is the notice period for termination in Qatar?
- The notice period for termination in Qatar is generally determined by the employment contract. If the contract does not specify a notice period, the notice period must be reasonable and should not be less than one month.
Can an employer terminate an employee’s contract without notice in Qatar?
- An employer can terminate an employee’s contract without notice in Qatar if the employee has committed a serious breach of the employment contract. In such cases, the employer may not be required to provide any compensation to the employee.