Qatar has passed a new law that entails nearly doubling the salary of Qataris in entry-level positions in the government. The legislation also supports the state’s preferential hiring system consistent with a previous law that came into force in 2009.

Qatari citizens are to be prioritised in any government position, followed by:

1) children of Qatari women married to non-Qataris;

2) Non-Qatari spouses of Qatari citizens;

3) Nationals of other GCC countries;

4) Arab expatriates;

5) Other nationalities.

The mechanism to enforce this process is specified by the new law: all government ministries, departments and public institutions are to provide the Ministry of Administrative Planning, Labour and Social Affairs with “all necessary data about their human resource requirements”. This ensures no appointment can be made unless there is a vacancy and an available position has been announced.

Several public sector jobs are exempt from the law, including judges, assistant judges, prosecutors, assistant prosecutors, Emiri Diwan employees and those in the diplomatic and consular sectors.

The new legislation was published in Arabic by Al-Sharq and is expected to come into effect in January 2018, following its publication in the state’s Official Gazette.

Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani signed Law No. 15 of 2016 on 5 November.

Despite austerity measures, the new law is understood to boost the salaries of Qataris employed by the public sector.

According to a local publication published in English, the law stipulates that the monthly minimum salaries for Qatari nationals in Grade 12 positions, the lowest salary tier for Qataris, will increase from QR2,200 ($604) – QR2,600 to QR4,160, equivalent to a 60-89 per cent rise.

Minimum monthly salaries for Qataris in Grade 1 jobs, one of the highest categories, will be increased from QR17,000-QR21,000 to QR35,000.

Salaries for non-Qataris appear to remain the same, with Grade 13, the lowest category for expatriates, starting at QR2,200 a month while Grade 1 jobs will start with salaries of QR17,000 a month.