This week the spotlight is on legal and regulatory developments in Qatar, where the Emir has issued a new Law amending the country’s Labour Law and Civil and Commercial Procedures Law. Qatar Law No. 13/2017 amends Qatar Law No. 14/2004 and Qatar Law No. 13/1990. Under the new Law, one or more committees will be set up at the Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs Ministry to resolve labour disputes. It will be chaired by a Court of First Instance judge who will be chosen by the Supreme Judiciary Council. Two committee members will be nominated by the Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs Minister and one of them will have to have accounting experience.
The Minister will issue a decision to regulate the committee’s work and operations. Its secretariat will be assumed by one or more Ministry employees and this will be stated in the Ministerial Decision. Only the committee will be able to resolve disputes arising from the Law’s implementation or employment contract. It will give a decision on the dispute within three weeks of its first session reviewing it. The committee secretariat will notify both parties in the dispute about the committee’s procedures and decisions through registered correspondence at their residence or business centres, or through other suitable means.
The committee’s decisions will include its rationale, will be binding and will have to be executed immediately. Cases which should be heard and resolved by the committee will not be heard before the courts before they hear them. However, the related courts will continue to see the related cases which were filed before Qatar Law No.13/2017. Before lodging a case with the committee, employees will have to raise concerns with their employer within seven days of being advised of an issue. The complaint will have to be resolved within seven days and if an employee does not receive a response in this time, it will be considered to be rejected. Employees will be able to contact the committee directly where they are dismissed or terminated arbitrarily by an employer and the committee will look into the issue and reach a decision based on the facts.