Restrictive covenants

As per the new law on immigration, there is no ban of two years limiting a person from obtaining the work visa. But in my new employment contract, there is a restriction clause which does not allow to take up a job with any competitor. While the ban of two years has been removed from the law, is it legal to restrain an employee with such clauses in contract? What is the legality and which law empowers the clause? Please advise.


SL, Doha


Though Law No. 21 of 2015 has abolished two-year ban on employees to obtain work visa, the restrictive covenant preventing the employee from working with competitor still exists. According to Article 43 of the Labour Law – No. 14 of 2004, if the nature of the work allows the employee to become acquainted with the clients of the employer or the secrets of the business of the establishment, the employer may stipulate that the employee shall not compete with him or participate in any undertaking competing with him after expiry of the contract. The period of such undertaking shall not exceed two years. Such stipulation shall be valid only if it is restricted as to place and to type of the work to the extent necessary to safeguard the employer’s lawful interests.

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