By Dr Nizar Kochery/Doha
Question: What are the rights of a subcontractor to insist on accepting a work if it is defective in material or at work? Changes in specifications were communicated to the subcontractor. But they were ignored by the subcontractor and he procured the materials. The defect could possibly be rectified. Please advise.
Answer: Article 694 of the civil laws stipulates that an employer may refuse to take delivery if defect in the works or violation of the mutually agreed conditions exceed such an extent that they would not serve the intended purpose.
If the defect or violation are not of such seriousness, the employer shall only be empowered to reduce the consideration in proportion to the significance of the defect or shall oblige the contractor to rectify the defect within a reasonable time limit to be fixed by himself if such rectification is feasible and does not involve exorbitant costs.
The contractor may carry out such rectification within a reasonable period of time, if this is possible and does not cause substantial damages to the employer. However, according to Article 695, the employer or main contractor shall not invoke the rights under Article 694 if he is responsible for causing the defect whether this is by issuing orders contrary to the subcontractor’s view or in any other manner.
Ending contract without notice
Q: I am working in a restaurant in Doha since 2012. Last week, the manager informed me verbally that I am terminated and I don’t need to attend the shop. The management has not informed anything properly or anything in writing. When I objected the decision of the management, they replied that the company has full right to terminate the existing contract without any notice. Being an employee having experience of more than five years, am I eligible to receive a proper notice prior to termination? How can I challenge such acts? Please advise.
A: According to Article 49 of the Labour Law, the party intending to terminate the contract shall notify the other party in writing. If the period of service is more than five years, the notification period shall be at least two months prior to the date of termination. If the employer, in its discretion, asks the employee not to work for some or all of his notice period, the employer will still be obliged to pay the employee in full. Alternatively, the employer may, at its discretion, pay the employee in lieu of notice. The employee can approach the Labour Dispute Resolution Committee to challenge the employer’s action of termination without notice.
A case against contracting firm
Q: In connection with a subcontract agreement, I have filed a case against the contracting company for some payment pending for unreasonable reasons. The court heard the issue and appointed an expert through a judgment. I have paid the amount stated in the judgment without any delay and I received details of the expert. Now it has been more than two months, but the expert did not conduct the hearing. I want to finish the case as early as possible. What action can I initiate if the expert failed to submit the report before the time pronounced? Please advise.
A: According to Article 351 of the Civil and Commercial Procedure law, if the expert has not deposited his report to the court within the term specified, he shall be bound to deposit a submission stating whatever functions he has carried out, and reasons which forestall the completion of his mission. If justifiable, court will grant the expert more time to complete the report otherwise court shall adjudge him with a fine not exceeding QR2,000 and grant time or replace him.
Cancellation of lease contract
Q: I have rented an apartment in Doha for my family and due to some issue, I lost my job. I would like to cancel my lease contract because I cannot afford it now. There is no provision in the contract for early termination and the landlord is not agreeing for any settlement. Is there any provision in Qatar lease law where the tenant can seek termination of contract even if the contract does not specify anything? Please advise.
A: According to Article 632 of the civil laws of Qatar, when a lease is made for a fixed period, either of the contracting parties may, if serious and unforeseen circumstances arise of such nature as to render, from the commencement of or during the lease, the performance too burdensome, demand the termination of the lease before its expiry, provided he gives notice in accordance with the time limits and pays equitable compensation to the other party.
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