Wednesday, 5 October 2011



Law No (14) of the Year 2004 is the Qatar Labour law. The Law is applicable for every Labours and Professionals including Quantity Surveyors. It has described most significant areas related to employees in sixteen parts, namely;

Part 1: Definitions and General Provisions

Part 2: Vocational Training

Part 3: Regulation of The Employment Of workers

Part 4: The Individual Labour Relationships

Part 5: The Disciplinary Power of the Employer

Part 6: Wages

Part 7: Regulation of the Working Hours and Leave

Part 8: Employment of Juveniles

Part 9: Employment of Women

Part 10: Safety, Vocational Health and Social Care

Part 11: Work Injuries and Compensation Thereof

Part 12: Workers Organizations

Part 13: Joint Committees, Negotiation and Collective

Part 14: Collective Disputes

Part 15: Inspection of Work

Part 16: Penalties

Dispute resolution is one important area for Quantity Surveyors. They advice clients regarding construction disputes and moreover they may practice as Adjudicators, Mediators and Arbitrators. Nevertheless, he also in a risk to subject to disputes with his employers and Clients.

Hence it is important to know the applicable law for QS's working in Qatar in relation to labour dispute resolution.

Aim of this article is to discuss the labour dispute resolution mechanisms available in the Laws.

As I discuss in “Dispute resolution mechanism”, there are several types of Dispute resolution mechanisms available in the world such as Negotiation, Mediation, Conciliation, Mini trial, Arbitration and Litigation.

In the Law has adopted following Dispute resolution mechanisms for labour disputes resolution.

1) Negotiation

2) Mediation

3) Conciliation

4) Arbitration


According to the Article 129 any disputes between employer and workers shall try to settle by themselves.

“If any dispute arises between them and some or all of his workers the two parties to the dispute shall try to settle it between themselves ....”


Article 129 states, in case of a dispute between employer and workers, if there is a joint committee in the company, they can be referred the case to the committee. Joint committee hasn’t address in the Law in detail; however this would be similar to the Mini Trial approach.

“If there is a joint committee in the establishment the dispute shall be referred to it for settlement.”


If above two mechanisms failed then the next step is Medication.

According to the article 129, workers shall submit complaint in writing to employer with a copy to the labour department and the employer shall reply in written to the worker within one week, with a copy to the department. If the reply does not resolve the dispute department will try to settle it through Mediation within 15 days.

“1. The workers shall submit their complaint or claim in writing to the employer with a copy thereof to the Department.

2. The employer shall reply in writing to the complaint or claim of the workers within a week from his receiving the same and shall send a copy of the reply to the Department.

3. If the reply of the employer does not lead to the settlement of the dispute the Department shall try to settle the dispute through its mediation.”


If they fail to bring both parties in to a common ground within 15 days, then the department should submit the dispute to a Conciliation committee.

“If the mediation of the Department does not lead to the settlement of the dispute within fifteen days from the date of the employer's reply the Department shall submit the dispute to a conciliation committee for its decision thereon.”

According to the article 130, the Conciliation committee shall comprise 3 members. One shall nominate by the employer and other by the workers. Chairman of the committee shall be appointed by the Minister. The committee have authority to get assistant of a specialized consultant to make a decision. The committee shall give its decision within a week and it shall be binding on the all parties, if they had agreed to refer the dispute to the committee.

“The committee may be assisted by consultation with any of the specialists before deciding on the dispute and shall issue its decision on the dispute within a week from the date of its submission thereto.

“The decision of the committee shall be binding on the two parties to the dispute if the parties had agreed in writing to referring the dispute to the committee before its meeting to decide on the dispute and ....”


If parties have agreed to refer the dispute to arbitration, the above conciliation step is not applicable and the dispute will directly refers to an arbitration procedure.

“.... and if there is no such an agreement in this respect the dispute shall be referred to an arbitration committee within fifteen days and the arbitration shall be mandatory for the two parties.”

According to the article 131, the Arbitration committee shall be formed under the presidency of a Judge. One member is a representative of the workers and others, a representative of Qatar Chamber of Commerce and a representative of the Ministry.

According to the article 132, the committee shall render final awards on majority basis. However in case of equality of votes the chairman of the committee shall have a casting vote. Committee can review documents and conducts hearing before they make the award.

The committee in carrying out its duties may peruse all papers, documents and all evidence and may compel any- person possessing these papers, documents and evidence are to produce the same and may enter the establishment for conducting necessary inquiry and take all necessary procedures for settling the disputes.”

Until the dispute settle, both parties shall continue their duties and responsibilities. It has clearly mentioned in article 133.

“An employer may not close the place where he is employing the workers or stop the work or refuse to continue to employ any worker by reason of a dispute that has not been decided on by the conciliation or arbitration committee.”

It is a good movement, that Qatar has totally depends on Alternative Dispute Resolution methods rather than traditional litigation with regarding labour disputes. There is no information regarding the cost of dispute resolution in the act.

Q & A


Mr.Bhathiya practised as a Quantity Surveyor in Qatar for ALEC Contracting Limited. He got an accident and admitted to the hospital. He discharged from the hospital and return back to home after 2 weeks from the accident. He has informed to the ALEC, that he is still not well and needs another additional 2 weeks for rest as sick leave since already he finished his all sick leaves. However ALEC has rejected his request and asked him to report to the office. Mr.Bhathiya also refuses the company’s request.

Finally the contract was terminated by the company. After the termination, other employees planned to go on strike against the termination.

1. Can Mr.Bhathiya refuse to come for work by refusing company’s request?

According to the article 112 such disputes (dispute arises between the worker and the employer as to the ability of the worker to resume his work) shall refer to the competent medical authority and their decision shall be final.

2. Can employees go on strike?

Yes. But under certain circumstances and subject to approval of the committees.

“Workers are allowed to form a committee if there are at least 100 Qatari workers in the company. The Labour Law also contains provisions allowing workers to go on strike under certain circumstances and subject to approval of the committees. While this may afford some protection for rights of workers in certain large organisations and industries, those who are employed in small businesses or in trades that almost exclusively employ foreign workers would not be eligible to form such a union or committee.1

In 2010 September, 90 labourers were arrested by the police and deported for strike against their company that violated an agreement with them2.


1. Law update. (2009). Labour law. [Online]. Available from: [Accessed: 05th October 2011]

2. Migrant right. (2010).Nepali workers deported from Qatar for daring to strike. [Online]. Available from: [Accessed: 05th October 2011]

3. Law No (14) of the Year 2004, Doha: Qatar Labour Department.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Applicability of Pareto principle for Quantity Surveyors

Pareto principle

Pareto is an Italian economist, who created a mathematical formula for describe the unequal distribution of wealth in Italy. He has found 80% of the wealth of Italy has owned by 20% of people. The principle also knows as the 80/20 Rule. Later many other experts have observed similar phenomena to Pareto principle in their own fields.

Following examples are described important of Pareto principle to various professionals/peoples.

· Project managers know that 20 percent of the work consumes 80 percent of the time and resources.

· Planning engineer knows that 80% of delays in a construction project arise from 20% of possible causes of the delays.

· Marketing manager knows that 20% of his marketing efforts generate 80% of his marketing results.

· Nimal knows that 80% of his expenses for 20% of items.

If the Project manager plans and perfume well that 20% of works, he will have a greater success.

If the Planning engineer plans well that 20% of causes, he will have a greater success.

If Nimal plans well his 20% items, he may be able to save more money.

Below Pareto graph represent Nimal’s expenses. It shows 80% of Nimal’s expenses is because of 20% of items, in namely for rent, foods, transport and liquors.

I have analysis the Nimal’s expenses with Pareto principle in one of my article titled “එදිනෙදා මුලය කලමණාකරණය 2(Day today financial management 2)”, that may worthwhile to read to you. You can access the article on

It is important to note that actual percentage may differ from 80% and 20%, but the spirit of the principle will remains true for most of causes. Now, let’s move to see the applicability of Pareto principle for Quantity Surveyors.

For Cost Planning.

Quantity Surveyor (QS) can be adopted the Pareto principle for various Quantity Surveying functions from Inception to Completion and even after the completion also.

One of key function of Quantity Surveyors during Design and Pre construction is “Cost planning”. There are two techniques use for cost planning. Those are;

ü Budgetary establishing

ü Budgetary distributing

Quantity Surveyor may establish the client budget in Option appraisal or Strategic Briefing stages*.

First step of Cost planning is establishing cost targets at the Outline proposal stage. In another way, establishing cost targets is the way of distributing, established budget. In Outline proposal stage QS can establish group element cost target.

Following is an example for a Group elementary cost plan at Outline proposal stage.

Budget – Rs. 300M

Group element


Cost (M)







Internal Finishes






Fit out



* Figures are not realistic figures.

Now let’s draw the Pareto graph for above cost plan.

According to the Pareto graph, 80% cost of the project is representing by three group elements (60%) namely Services, Fit outs and Superstructure.

In Detail design stage QS may produce an Elementary Cost plan.

Following is the Elementary Cost plan for the above project at Detail design stage.



Cost (M)







Upper Floors









External Walls



External Windows & Doors



Int Walls & Partitions



Int Doors & Screens



Wall Finishes



Floor Finishes



Ceiling Finishes






Plumbing & Drainage



Fire Protection



Electrical, AV Etc.






Vertical Transportation



Fit out



Now let’s draw the Pareto graph for above cost plan

According to the Pareto graph, 80% cost of the project is representing by seven elements (37%).

In both Design and Pre construction phases, QS should ensure that the cost of the project should within the allocated budget, which is the main purpose of cost planning. In order to accomplish the purpose, QS have to continuously do cost checking and cost reconciliations.

After reconciliation, QS may come out with a smiley faceJ, when the cost of a particular element is less that the established target in the cost plan. However in some cases cost of a particular element may exceeds the target, which is not a cause to keep QS happyL.

In later case, QS have three options to overcome from terrible situation.

1) Ask client to increase the budget and change the cost target for the particular element. This option is not favour of the QS, since it may imply QS’s cost plan is erroneous.

2) Ask design team to review the design and bring it within the cost limit.

3) Share cost with some other elements which have cost saving.

In second option, Quantity Surveyor should advice to design team to pay more attention for first 7 elements (37%) out of 19 elements, which are representing 80% of the total cost. Changing an element from first 37% elements make greater effect to the project cost.

However design team may have to pay their attention for some other factors before review an element such as effect to other elements by changing a particular element. For an example, change the substructure design may effects to all other element and change the wall design may effects to finishes.

For Value Management (VM)

“Value Management is a service which maximizes the functional value of a project by managing its development from concept to completion and commissioning through the audit (examination) of all decisions against a value system determined by the client.”(Kelly, J & Male, S.2005. p.p.2)

The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) has identified the following sub-processes within the Value Management process.

1) Value planning - During the design and pre construction phase of a project.

2) Value engineering – During construction phase of a project.

3) Value reviewing – During use phase of a project.( After the practical completion)

Simply in the Value Management, VM team tries to find alternatives for current design without changing the function. Following are some example for value management;

· Replace custom made high capacity (1100CFM) exhaust fan with two nr law capacity (2 ´ 550CFM) interconnected exhaust fans. The alternative did not change the function; however there is a Rs. 30,000.00 Cost savings has been made for the client.

· Use isolated chillers sets instant of central chillier unit. This has made a Rs. 500,000.00 cost saving to the client which is 10% of the item cost.

Following Pareto graph has been drawn for a residential building during Tender documentation stage from the tender estimate.

According to the Pareto graph, 77% cost of the project is representing by five elements (33%), from Concrete Work to Electrical Installation.

Hence VM team should focus on those first five elements instant of others to get an effective VM result. Since the Quantity Surveyor as the cost consultant, plays proactive role within the VM team to achieve successful outcome.

VM team should do value management for;

· Concrete, but not for Metal work

· Floor, Wall & Ceiling finishes, but not for Drainage

* RIBA plan of work.




Option appraisal

Strategic Briefing


Outline proposal

Detail Proposal

Final Proposal

Pre Construction

Production information

Tender documentation

Tender action



Construction to Practical completion


After Practical completion


1. Envision. (?).Pareto Principle or The 80/20 rule. [Online]. Available from: [Accessed: 30th April 2011]

2. Kedapatha. (2008). එදිනෙදා මුලය කලමණාකරණය 2. [Online]. Available from: [Accessed 29th April 2011]

3. Kelly, J., Male, S. & Graham, D., (2004). Value Management of Construction projects. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.

4. Projectsmart. (?). Pareto analysis step by step. [Online]. Available from: [Accessed 10th April 2011]

5. RIBA. (2007). RIBA Outline Plan of Work 2007.[ Online]. Available from: [Accessed 34th April 2011]

6. Smith, J. & jaggar, D., (2007). Building Cost Planning for the Design Team.Oxford: Elsevier.

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