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ر.ق (QAR)

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Qatar, in western Asia, is officially known as the State of Qatar. The official language is Arabic, but English is also widely spoken. Qatar’s energy-producing sectors drive the country. While oil production has been the traditional center of the country’s economy, Qataris are looking into expansion and diversity for the future.

Employment contracts in Qatar must be written and in Arabic. However, if the employee is not familiar with Arabic, then a translated version should be attached to the Arabic contract. If there are any discrepancies between the Arabic contract and translation, the Arabic version is considered the authentic text for legal purposes. Three copies must be made by the employer, one for each party, and the third is to be sent to the labor administration at the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs (MADLSA) for authentication.

There are three types of contracts in Qatar: fixed-term, indefinite-term and job-completion. Fixed-term contracts expire on a specific date and should not exceed five years. However, they can be extended by agreement of both parties. If employment continues after the expiration of a fixed-term contract without an agreement to an extension, the contract automatically turns into an indefinite-term contract starting from the initial start date of the fixed-term contract. Job-completion or casual work contracts are temporary and should not exceed four weeks but can be extended for the same period if both parties agree to its extension. In contrast, indefinite-term contracts do not have an expiration date and can only be terminated by the contracted parties.

An employment contract should include:

  • name of employer and place of employment,

  • name of employee, address, qualifications, nationality, place of residency and proof of identity,

  • type of contract,

  • place and date of contract signing,

  • job description,

  • probation period,

  • start date,

  • benefits and leave entitlement,

  • duration (if for a fixed-term), and

  • salary, payment method, and payment intervals.

The standard workweek in Qatar is 48 hours with eight work hours per day.

Employees are entitled to 14 days of fully paid sick leave in Qatar after three months of service, after medical certification is provided. If the sickness goes beyond the 14 days, then they receive another four weeks of sick leave at half-pay, and any sick days beyond four weeks is unpaid until the employee returns to work or resigns for medical reasons. Employers are required to cover all medical expenses and compensate employees for work-related injuries during which the employee receives full pay up to 60 days. They are also required to tally and report all injuries every six months to the labor administration.

Female employees in Qatar receive 50 days of maternity leave after one year of service. They must provide a medical certificate. No less than 35 days of leave must be taken after the child is born. If maternity leave is taken in such a way that there are less than 35 days of maternity leave left after birth, the employee can use annual leave days or take unpaid time off. If health complications occur and the employee exhausts her maternity leave days, she is entitled to receive an additional 60 days of unpaid maternity leave, which requires a medical certificate. After returning to work, the female employee should receive an additional one-hour nursing break per day for up to one year. There is no paternity leave in Qatar, but it is common to offer five days to the father.

There are no mandatory bonuses in Qatar but employers may choose to pay performance-based bonuses.

Employees in Qatar are entitled to annual leave after one year of service. They receive three weeks of paid annual leave if they have less than five years of service and four weeks if they have more than five years of service. Employees with less than one year of service receive a percentage of annual leave, which is determined by the employer. The employer and employee determine the annual leave starting date at the beginning of the year. Leave can be taken all in one period or broken up into not more than two time periods. Untaken annual leave may be carried over to the following year upon agreement of both parties, provided it does not exceed half of the allowed leave days.

Muslim employees are eligible for a one-time, 20 day unpaid pilgrimage leave if they wish to make a pilgrimage to Mecca. Collective bargaining agreements can increase the amount of annual leave. The employer is required to pay the annual leave to the employee before the annual leave begins.

In Qatar, the public holidays are:

  • National Sports Day

  • Eid al-Fitr

  • Eid al-Adha

  • Independence Day

Companies in Qatar offer employees supplementary private healthcare, while Qatari nationals receive heavily subsidized healthcare coverage.

Both parties may terminate the employment contract in Qatar with or without cause. However, a termination notice is required to initiate the termination of a contract. In certain instances, the employer may terminate the employment contract without a termination notice.

  • Local Laws & Regulations

    We understand that local laws and regulations change and sourcing an accurate reference guide is not easy. Our data is researched and verified by our team of local international Employment Attorneys, HR and Benefit Professionals and Tax Accountants through our Atlas team and consultants, to ensure information up-to-date and accurate.

  • Partner with atlas logo

    Partnering with Atlas when expanding into Qatar can dramatically reduce the standard brick and mortar processes of doing business in foreign markets and allow you to focus on what you do best, growing your company! To discover more about how Atlas can simplify your ability to expand globally, please feel free to contact us.

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