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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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