A Guide on Statutory leaves in Qatar

Dalton Lewis


Leave policies are not the same for all countries. Hence, it is obvious for employees to have doubts regarding the policies and their right to paid leaves. Here we have covered in detail about the leave policy in Qatar.

Statutory Leaves

Under the Articles of Qatar Labor Law, workers shall be granted with following leaves (as per the articles 78 to 85):

  • Official Public holidays
  • Annual leave
  • Sick leave
  • Maternity leave
  • Hajj Leave

Official Public holidays

The following are the official leaves to be paid with full wages as specified in Article 78:

  • Three working days for Eid El-Fitr
  • Three Working days for Eid Al-Adha
  • One working day for Independence Day
  • National Sports Day (second Tuesday in February)

Annual Leave:

According to Article 79 of the Qatar Labor law, a worker is entitled to the following Annual leave:

  1. Three weeks of annual leave,if the service tenure with the employee is less than 5 years
  2. Four Weeks of annual leave, if the service tenure with the employee is more than 5 years

Frequently asked questions

  1. Is annual leave in Qatar based on calendar days?
    As per the general practice, employers award employees annual leave based on the calendar days
  2. Can the employer determine when the employee leave will be taken?
    Employers shall determine the date of annual leave for their workers and may divide the leave with the consent of the worker provided that the division shall not be more than two periods. Article 80 says the employer may on a written application of the worker postpone not more than half of the annual leave to the year following the year of its entitlement.
  3. Are public holidays considered to be part of annual leave?
    Any public/national holidays shall not be counted as annual leave and shall be entitled to full pay leave as specified in Article 75 of Qatar labor law.
  4. Can employees claim payment for unutilized leaves during the termination of the contract?
    Article 81 of Qatar labor law allows the employee to claim their accrued leave balance if he/ she leaves the employment without utilizing those leaves.
  5. Can an employee work for another employer during their annual leave?
    The worker shall not work for another employer while on annual or sick leave provided for in Article 84. Where his employer establishes that he has done so, he may deprive him of his wage for the duration of the leave or recover any wages previously paid to him
  6. Can an employer terminate an employee who is on leave?
    No, employers cannot terminate the services of employees during any of his periods of leave provided for in Article 85.

Sick Leave policy in the Qatar

Sick leave is granted for 12 weeks in the following rate:

  • The first 2 weeks- Full pay
  • The next 4 weeks- Half Pay
  • For further 6 weeks- No Pay

As mentioned in Article 82, the sick leave will not be granted for an employee who commences his engagement for the first three months.

See the following sample calculation simplifying the salary for an employee taking sick leaves.

Frequently asked questions

  1. Can an employee who is on probation take a paid sick leave?
    As per Article 82, all workers who have fulfilled first three months of his/her service are eligible for sick Leave.
  2. Can an employer terminate an employee due to Illness or Temporary disablement?
    An employer cannot terminate an employee on account of illness prior to availing him of the period designated for Sick leave as provide in the law. The service of the worker may be terminated at the end of the twelfth week of the sick leave if it has been proved by a report issued by the competent physician that the worker is unable to resume his work at that time
  3. What is the difference between sick leave unpaid and unpaid leave?
    The days taken after 6 weeks are regarded as sick leave unpaid and are different from unpaid leave. The days falling under this type of leave are included when determining the service period of an employee. This leave does NOT impact the calculation of gratuity, outstanding vacation, air ticket payout or any other payroll accrual due to the employee.

Maternity Leave

A female employee working in Qatar shall be entitled to maternity leave as stated below:

  • Fully paid for fifty days

The provision for this leave is outlined in Article 96 and reads as follows.

A working woman is entitled to maternity leave with full pay for a period of 50 days provided that the continuous period of service with the employer is for a complete year. Such Maternity leave shall include the period before and after the delivery if the period following the delivery shall not be less than 35 days. If the remaining period after delivery is less than 35 days, the worker may be granted complimentary leave from her annual Leave, otherwise, it is deemed to be unpaid leave.”

Frequently asked questions concerning maternity leave

  1. Can an employee take extra leaves after exhaustion of her maternity leave?
    Yes, an employee on maternity leave can combine such with her outstanding annual leave if she so wishes. She is also entitled to take extra unpaid leave to a maximum of additional 60 days including 50 days of Maternity Leave provided that a medical certificate of her medical condition shall be produced from a licensed physician.
  2. Is the period taken for unpaid maternity leave included while determining the period of service?
    Yes, this period taken as unpaid maternity leave is included while determining the period of service and is counted while calculating gratuity at the end of service.
  3. Is a female employee entitled to any extra breaks post-delivery?
    When a female resumes back to work, she shall be entitled additional breaks not exceeding one hour a day to nurse her young baby. These breaks are treated as part of her working hours and not part of the normal break and can be taken during the first year after delivery.

Paternity leave

There is no statutory Law for paternity leave. However, some companies offer paid leave according to their company guidelines.

Hajj Leaves

As per Article 83, a Muslim worker shall be entitled to leave without pay not exceeding two weeks to fulfill his obligation during the period of his services.

Employees must be encouraged to take leaves once in a while, as it is mandatory not just for the well-being of the employees, but for the organization as well. On the organizational level, leaves help in improving morale, productivity, employee retention and it also reduces the number of unplanned absences from work.

For information on the payroll process in Qatar click on this link

Payroll Process in Qatar

The process of payroll is a little complicated and time-consuming; hence it is always recommended to outsource your company’s payroll function. Outsourcing payroll will ensure the assistance of a team of trained payroll professionals and it frees up the time of the organization, helping them focus on other projects that add value to their business.

One should be extra vigilant while selecting their payroll provider, as payroll data is highly sensitive, and one should opt for a provider that can ensure high levels of data security.

As a leading payroll outsourcing company, HLB HAMT can help solve your payroll complexities through customized strategies. We take care of our clients’ entire payroll cycle that includes preparation of payroll reports, processing salary payment with WPS compliance, accrual management including Gratuity, pension funds, an online portal for accessing payslips, and many more. Our leadership team spends the necessary hours in every project, ensuring our clients get refined consulting services to take your business forward.

To know more about our payroll process, click here

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this information, HLB HAMT will not accept any liability arising out of errors or omissions. Please note that this blog is not all-inclusive. Our guidance is designed only to give general information on the issues/topics covered. It is subjected to change and not intended to be a comprehensive summary of all laws which may be applicable to your situation, treat exhaustively the subjects covered, provide legal advice, or render a legal opinion.

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