Remote Working Clarification Issued

Qatar’s Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs Ministry has issued a clarification on remote working for employers and employees. The Ministry said remote working should not see an employee’s pay or other benefits cut or their work-life balance affected. The other terms and conditions in their contract should remain the same as well. Employees should not be asked to work more hours than they would do in the workplace. However most employers have reduced the working hours of their employees to six hours (7:00 am to 1:00 pm) for the duration of the Coronavirus crisis.

However, for companies in those sectors who are working normal hours, they should work eight hours a day. In addition, employees and employers can agree the employee can work up to two hours overtime. Where possible the employer should provide them with the equipment they need to do their work remotely. This includes providing electronic equipment. Managers should also share online tutorials on how to use and access the company’s Intranet, access emails remotely and install security protocols and how to handle sensitive files. However, employees should proactively ask for the equipment or supplies they need as well as any additional guidance. All company-owned equipment, software and data files should be returned at the end of remote working and employees should ensure company information remains confidential and secure. Officials and supervisors should also develop health and safety policies for employees working remotely. This can include weekly team calls and daily check-up calls.

However, employees working remotely should continue to demonstrate the same competency, work quality and productivity as in the workplace. They should also not carry out any personal tasks while working and be contactable during working hours. If they want to do something personal, they should take leave appropriately. Leave requests must be submitted, discussed and approved by an employer in line with the company’s usual policy. Remote working should not be used in place of annual, sick or any other leave. Those working remotely should identify a dedicated workspace and learn to disconnect from work when they aren’t working. Histoire complète

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