Arbitrarily terminating a work contract
August 10 2018 11:56 PM
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By Dr Nizar Kochery/Doha

Question: Under Qatari laws, can one party arbitrarily terminate a contract for construction work? We are engaged by a company for execution of certain civil construction work and we were performing our part. Without stating any reasons they cancelled our contract.
RE, Doha

Answer: The employer has the right of termination at will but compensation is payable to the contractor. Article 707 of the Civil Code speaks about an employer’s entitlement to terminate a contract for convenience at any time, provided that the terminating party compensates the counterparty for expenses, works performed and loss of profit assessed on the basis that the contract was performed to completion.

Suspending punishment
Q: Under what circumstances a suspended punishment from the criminal court will be reactivated? A colleague brought in certain medicine and a punishment was issued in his absence. Later the case was handled by a lawyer and has obtained a judgment suspending the punishment. Please advise.
SO, Doha

A: According to Article 81 of Penal Law, the suspension of execution may be cancelled in any of the following cases: (1) If during the period of suspension, a judgment for imprisonment is rendered against the convict for more than three months for an intentional offence perpetrated during or before the said period and the court did not know about it when ordering the suspension of execution; or (2) If it appears that a judgment of imprisonment for a term of more than three months for an intentional offence was passed before ordering the suspension of execution and the court was unaware about it. 

Case for claiming gratuity dues
Q: I worked in a company for 13 years and left it in February 2018. When I asked for my gratuity, my sponsor told that he would send it to my bank in my home country. But until now the sponsor did not send it. Now I am back here in Qatar on a tourist visa. Do I still have the right to ask for my unpaid gratuity even though I don’t have the residence ID? How to calculate the end-of-service benefit as per the law? Please advise.
MD, Doha

A: In order to claim the due amount of gratuity and other benefits, file a case before the Labour Dispute Resolution Committee against the company at the Department of Labour. The complaint should be submitted within one year from the date on which the amount or the entitlement becomes due. Under Article 10 of the Labour Law, all lawsuits filed by the workers or their heirs claiming the entitlements are exempted from judicial fee. According to Article 54 of the Labour Law, the employer shall pay end-of-service gratuity to those employees with one or more years of continuous service, and unless otherwise a higher rate is agreed between the employer and employee, the gratuity shall be calculated @3 weeks’ basic salary per year of service. The employees shall be entitled to gratuity for the fractions of the year in proportion to the duration of employment. The gratuity is calculated based on the basic wage on the date of entitlement.

Tenant asked to vacate premises
Q: We have rented a villa for our staff and our lease agreement is valid until March 2019. Now the landlord has approached us asking to vacate the premises for him to do some additional construction on the building. We refused to vacate the building as we have a valid contract with us. But the landlord approached the court and now the court ordered to vacate the premises within three months. The court also rejected our claim for compensation. Can we take any legal action against the landlord if he did not start the construction work? Please advise. 
IS, Doha

A: According to Article 19 of the Rent law, if the court orders the tenant to vacate the premises for the works, the landlord should proceed with the licensed works within six months of the date on which the leased premises were vacated. In the event if the Landlord does not undertake the licensed works, or lets the said premises to another tenant before undertaking such works, the tenant may submit a claim for compensation if such is warranted.
* Please send your questions to [email protected]

LEGAL SYSTEM IN QATAR

According to Article 466 of Civil and Commercial Procedure law, the creditor may make attachment under his possession by himself on a debt owed by his debtor. Attachment shall be done through a notice sent to the debtor including the particulars stated in the notice paper of attachment. In cases where attachment is made upon an order issued by the judge of execution, the distrainer shall, within the ten days following notification of the debtor of the attachment, file a lawsuit before the competent court claiming proof of entitlement and validity of attachment, otherwise the attachment shall be and void.
Attachment under possession of one of the government authorities or public corporations or public establishments or their subsidiary units shall have an effect only for a period of three years from the date of its notification, unless the garnishee is informed of keeping the attachment during this period. If this notice is not served or if it is not renewed every three years, attachment shall be null and void irrespective of procedures made or agreements concluded or judgments issued to this effect. The aforementioned three-year period shall only start, for purposes of the treasury of the court, from the date of the deposit of the distrained amounts.
As per Article 470, attachment on shares and bonds owned by the holder or endorsable shall take place according to the provisions applicable to the attachment of movables. 
Regular revenues, nominal shares and partners’ shares in the capital and profits owing as debts to legal persons and rights of trustees shall be attached in accordance with the applicable rules of attachment of debts owed by the debtor to third parties. Attachment of the aforementioned entitlements shall lead to attachment of their revenues whether they are owed or still owing until the day of sale.
According to Article 472, shares, bonds and other rights shall be sold by one of the banks or one of banking agents appointed by the judge of execution. The judge of execution shall include in his order measures to be taken about notification of sale. 
The judge of execution shall issue an order to effect execution of attachment on real property within a maximum period of two weeks from the date of filing the execution application with supporting documents. 
As per Article 475, the Registry of the court shall immediately, upon attachment of real property, notify the Real Property Registration and Legalisation Department to register the attachment effected on real property. When attachment of real property is registered, no action of disposition shall be permitted, unless the judge of execution approves such action. Any disposition which occurs in breach of that procedure after the date of registration of attachment shall not take effect against the distrainer. 
If the real property is not leased, the debtor shall be deemed as receiver until the sale is completed, unless the judge of execution dismisses the receivership or limits the authority upon a request made by the distrainer debtor or any creditor who holds an executive deed. The debtor who lives in the real property may remain as tenant without paying rent until the sale is completed. 
However, if the real property is leased, the rent owed for the period after registration of the attachment shall be deemed attached under the ownership of the tenant, once he is authorised by the distrainer or any creditor who has an executive deed not to pay rent to the debtor.



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