Qatari citizens are to be given priority in appointments for government and public jobs, a new law issued by HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani stipulates.
After citizens, priority is to be given to children of Qatari women married to non-Qataris, non-Qatari spouses of Qatari citizens, nationals of other GCC countries, Arab expatriates and other nationalities, in that order, according to the new legislation. In all cases, the appointment of non-Qatari employees will be made only through employment contracts.
Law No 15 for 2016 on Civil Human Resources is applicable to civilian employees at government ministries and departments and other public sector entities. Categories exempted from the provisions of the law include judges, assistant judges, members of the Public Prosecution and their assistants, employees of the Emiri Diwan, employees of the diplomatic and consulate corps, university teaching staff, Qatar Petroleum employees, Qatar Investment Authority employees and State Audit Bureau employees.
The Cabinet will issue the executive regulations of the law and it will be applicable from the day following its publication in the official gazette.
According to the law, the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs will prepare a guidebook on the description and classification of public jobs and HE the Minister will issue a decision on this. Every government entity will prepare its job structure in accordance with its actual needs, tasks and specialty, which will be only applicable when approved by the Minister.
A new employee will have to spend a probationary period of three months, which can be extended for a similar period. If the employee proves to be unfit for the job during this period, his/her services will be terminated. On the other hand, if such an employee performs his/her duties successfully, or without being served a written note to terminate his/her services, s/he will retain the job.
The law specifies the allowances and compensation due to government and public sector employees. These include a social bonus and allowances for housing, transportation, in addition to special and exceptional bonus, and compensation for overtime. Other allowances include those for telephones, furniture, private vehicles and others.
For non-Qatari employees, the government entity concerned will bear the cost of tickets for their travel.
Regarding leave period and holidays, the law stipulates that if a single day separates two official holidays, it will be considered a holiday as well. The law also specifies 16 types of leave due to government employees - such as maternity leave, regular and periodic leaves, sick leave, unpaid leave and others.
The annual leave for government employees ranges from 30 to 45 days according to the level and classification of the employee. Besides, each employee is entitled to seven days of casual leave a year. Further, the law provides detailed stipulations and regulations for each type of leave.
Regarding punishment and penalties, the law stipulates that it is not allowed to penalise any employee without due interrogation – in writing - where he can defend himself against the charges. For minor issues, the investigation can be oral and the penalty will range from a warning to three days’ salary deduction. However, a written justification has to be provided by the official concerned for this.
The law also gives a detailed list of the penalties that can be imposed on employees in each case and the regulations governing these. Besides, it provides the mechanism for penalised employees on how to appeal the decisions against them.
The services of a government employee can be terminated for various reasons, including being 60 years old, end of a contract, resignation, not being medically fit, penal dismissal, loss of Qatari citizenship, a decision from HE the Prime Minister for the public good and a final verdict against the employee in a crime undermining his integrity or honesty.
End-of-service gratuity for non-Qatari government staff is due to every employee who completes a minimum of one year of service. It is to be set at one month’s basic salary for each year of service with a maximum of 10 months, calculated based on the last basic salary received by the employee.
The law includes an appendix on salary for each grade and class of employees, starting from QR2,300-3,000 a month for the lowest grades and up to QR65,000 a month for top level jobs.
Meanwhile, the government has stressed its commitment to provide jobs for people with disabilities in accordance with Law No 2 for 2004 in respect of People with Special Needs, while supplying them with all the suitable means to enable them to carry out their work duties.
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