In August 2017, Law No. 13 of 2017 was issued amending certain provisions of the Labour Law (Law No. 14 of 2004) and the Civil and Commercial Procedure Code (Law No. 13 of 1990) and introduces a new Labour Disputes Settlement Committee (the Committee). The 2017 law clarifies the complaint procedure employees must undertake when seeking to appeal a disciplinary penalty imposed by their employer, or dismissal following an internal employment disciplinary process by introducing a set process which must be followed by the parties. The new 2018 resolution sets out in more detail the formation of the Committee and the extent of its authority and procedural requirements. Pursuant to the new resolution, three committees will oversee labour disputes, each comprising of a chairperson who is a Court of First Instance judge together with two additional members. The names of such individuals are detailed in the resolution.
Furthermore, the 2018 resolution lays down guidelines which the Committee is required to follow. In particular, the resolution provides that the Committee is required to meet three times per week, with their sessions being held in public. The Committee has the discretion to hear or request verbal evidence, it may consolidate cases having the same subject matter and parties and it may rule on matters in absentia or dismiss the case altogether where a party is not in attendance. Procedural restrictions, such as not being permitted to postpone proceedings more than once for the same reason, are also imposed.
Disputes currently being heard by the Qatar courts will continue to be concluded by them without the need to instigate a new claim with the Committee.