Qatar: A Guideline to Payroll and Employer of Record

Establish your presence globally with Neeyamo as we help you go beyond borders to manage your international payroll and hire new talent in Qatar.

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As a country in the Middle East, it should come as no surprise that Qatar is an oil economy. But the country is more than just oil, even though it boasts of having the longest drilled oil well. Qatar is filled with a diverse population with an even more diverse talent pool; around 85% of the population are expatriates.

If your organization’s expansion plans require you to hire employees in Qatar and you lack a physical entity in the country – a key requisite to hire local talent, your solution is right here: the best HR and payroll software for large companies, Neeyamo – Payroll business solutions. Neeyamo's international payroll system provides assistance for the onboarding and managing of employees in Qatar and processing a firm's payroll accounting, compliance, benefits, and more.

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Facts And Stats




Qatari Riyal

Official Language


Fiscal Year

1 January - 31 December

Date Format


Country Calling Code


Other Languages


Time Zone

GMT + 03:00

Global Payroll


Payroll is the list of compensation to be paid to employees of a company or organization for a set period or date.

Handling payroll for a widespread workforce can pose a significant challenge for any organization, and the added complication of compliance can make things worse. If companies spend more time processing payroll, it directly impacts day-to-day operations and their overall productivity. The solution to this problem is – National payroll outsourcing for businesses using contractor payroll solutions.

Over the years, Neeyamo has observed these complexities and strived to provide a global payroll solution through a single technology platform - Neeyamo Payroll.

What is a payroll system?

Payroll systems are the systems used by an organization to track employee salaries and taxes and to store records of transactions. The payroll accounting process takes place under the payroll system. Implement an easy payroll process in HR using Neeyamos Payroll Solution.

Payroll Taxes

Payroll tax is the percentage amount retained from an employee's salary and paid to the government to invest in the general population's welfare. These are statutory in nature and are levied from both the employer and employee. Additional statutory contributions are made by employers towards aiding both short-term and long-term benefits for their employees.

Employee Taxes

Employees have to make the following contributions:

5.00% Qatar Labour Law Monthly Contribution

5.00%-8.00% QFC Employment Regulation Monthly Contribution

5.00% – 8.00% Total Employee Cost

There is no tax on personal income.

Employer Taxes

Employers have to contribute 10% towards Qatar Labour Law Monthly Contribution/QFC Employment Regulation Monthly Contribution.

Payroll Cycle


Undoubtedly, payroll is a critical process for any organization. The pay cycle in Qatar refers to the period for which an organization pays its employees, and this can vary depending on the pay frequency that the organization chooses to adopt.


In Qatar, the payroll frequency is typically monthly. The employer must make salary payments at least once a month.

13th Month Cycle

There is no legal requirement for 13-month payments. Employers may issue bonuses at their discretion.

Global Work


An Employer of Record (EOR) service provider helps you eliminate the hassle of handling complexities while onboarding a new employee in an international location. They help bridge the gap that otherwise mandates organizations to have a locally registered entity and a local bank account before making a job offer to an international hire.

An EOR service provider acts as a legal employer, facilitates salary payments, and manages other statutory requirements such as health insurance, payroll taxes, and employee benefits, ensuring compliance with local tax laws and regulations.

This allows organizations to focus on collaborating with the employee in Qatar for operational tasks, with the knowledge that they have a cost-effective solution to support their global payroll & HR requirements as they continue their global expansion.

HR Mandates and Practices

Minimum Wage

Qatar's minimum wage was 750 riyals per month. Effective starting March 8, 2021, as part of the country's new labor reforms, Qatar's minimum wage is 1,000 riyals per month for workers provided food and accommodations. For workers who are not provided food or accommodation, the employer should provide additional amounts as follows:

  • 300 riyals per month, for workers receiving food stipend; and
  • 800 riyals per month for workers receiving stipends for food and accommodation
  • 300 riyals per month, for workers receiving food stipend; and
  • 800 riyals per month for workers receiving stipends for food and accommodation


Employees generally are entitled to overtime at statutory rates for any additional hours worked beyond eight hours in a day or 48 hours in a week.

During the Islamic calendar month of Ramadan, employees are entitled to overtime at statutory rates for any additional hours worked beyond six hours in a day or 36 hours in a week.

The standard overtime premium is 25% of the regular rate of pay. Employees required to work on a public holiday are entitled to an overtime premium of 50% of their regular pay rate.

Daily overtime cannot exceed two hours a day. Managers are ineligible for overtime premium pay unless the acquisition of such pay is stipulated in their contracts.

Data Retention Policy

All employee-related files must be kept for one year after the end of the employee's service.

Employers must keep a register of employee details, including names, nationalities, types of work, wages, start date, address, marital status, work qualifications, leave, and any penalties.

Hiring and Onboarding Requirements


Strictly speaking, only 100% Qatari-owned entities and Qatari nationals holding valid manpower licenses may undertake the business of recruitment for third parties.


Local employees must provide the following information during onboarding:

  • Name
  • Nationality
  • Address
  • Marital status
  • Date of Birth
  • Education Degree Verification

Expats must additionally provide the following documents during onboarding:

  • Candidate information as mentioned above
  • Copy of Passport
  • Copy of Educational Certificates
  • For certain nationalities, a health declaration
  • Proof that the applicant has no criminal record


In Qatar, the probation periods may vary depending on the employment contract. However, the probation period can be up to six months.


Public Holidays

Qatar observes the following public holidays:

  • Feb. 14: National Sports Day
  • Apr. 22 to Apr. 24: Eid al-Fitr
  • Jun. 29 to July 1: Eid al-Adha
  • Dec. 18: National Day

Annual Leave

In Qatar, the annual leave entitlement is dependent on the employee’s seniority:

  • Employees with less than one year of service receive a percentage of annual leave determined by the employer.
  • For employees with one year of service, the employee receives three weeks of annual leave.
  • Employees with more than five years of service are entitled to four weeks of annual leave.

An employee can take annual leave for a maximum of two different periods. Any untaken leave can be carried over to the next vacation year following the employer’s agreement.

Sick Leave

Any year's first two weeks of sick leave are paid at full pay, and the next four weeks are paid at half pay. A maximum of 12 weeks of sick leave may be taken during a year, including six weeks of unpaid leave.

Sick leave must be available to employees after the employee completes three months of work from the commencement of work for the first time.

Maternity Leave

The Labor Law provides for paid maternity leave of 50 days for women employed for a year at the beginning of the maternity leave.

There is no provision for maternity leave for women who have been employed for less than a year on delivery, although unpaid leave often is provided. Leave can be taken before and after delivery, but a woman must take at least 35 days post-delivery leave.

If the period of maternity leave available after delivery is less than 30 days, the employee must use annual or unpaid leave to make up the difference.

Paternity Leave

There is no provision for paternity leave under the Labor Law.

Haji Pilgrimage Leave

The Labor Law provides that all Muslim workers are entitled to 20 days of unpaid special leave to engage in a Hajj pilgrimage once during their service with the employer.


Notice Period

In Qatar, notice periods are dependent on an employee’s seniority:

If an employee has between one and five years of service, a notice of one month is required.

If an employee has over five years of service, a notice of two months is required.

Severance Pay

An employee who has been employed for more than a year is entitled at the end of employment to an end-of-service benefit equaling the number of years the employee worked for the employer multiplied by the value of three weeks of regular pay at the most recent payment rate.



Foreign employees require employer sponsorship to work in Qatar.

With limited exceptions for formally registered secondments and part-time jobs, employees can only work for the sponsoring employer. An expatriate wanting to bring family members to Qatar must be their sponsor.

Under Law No. 21 of 2015, known as the New Immigration Law, employees may terminate employment with an employer, leave Qatar, and then reenter as employees of another company. Under the Old Immigration Law, there was a two-year ban on reentry in these circumstances.

Foreign employees may temporarily enter Qatar using a 72-hour business visa issued upon arrival in the country, which may be extended for up to 72 hours. A standard business visa permits an expatriate employee working in Qatar to do so for up to three months. An individual may acquire such a visa if a business operating in Qatar successfully arranges for one to be acquired. Residents of other countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council who are in some types of professions approved by the Qatar Ministry of Interior may acquire a GCC resident visa that allows them to work in Qatar for one month, with the potential for an extension of up to three additional months.

On Sept. 5, 2018, the government said it would begin granting permanent residency to up to 100 expatriates yearly. To be eligible to apply, residents born abroad must have lived in Qatar for 20 years, while those born in Qatar must have lived there for 10 years. Applicants must also have a passing command of Arabic, sound legal standing, and proof of sufficient income.

Expatriates who become permanent residents and their spouses and children up to age 18 are entitled to the same social security benefits as Qatar's citizens, including free healthcare and education in government schools.

Effective Oct. 28, 2018, foreign workers and their employers, in most cases, are no longer required to file for exit visas and seek government permission before employees leave Qatar. However, employers may still require up to 5% of their employees to obtain permission before leaving the country because of the nature of their work.

Employee Background Checks

Legal and Background Checks

The labor code contains no provisions governing background checks.

Last updated on August 31, 2023

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