Qatar Foundation vows to enforce welfare standards for expat workers

Severe action will be taken against any company not adhering to the Mandatory Standards of Migrant Workers’ Welfare for Contractors and Subcontractors issued by Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF), a senior official has warned.

“Qatar is well known for its hospitality and we consider the workers our guests,” stated Jassim M Telefat, group executive director of QF’s Capital Projects and Facilities Management, at a conference at the Qatar National Convention Centre, attended by more than 500 contractors.

“We are doing our utmost to ensure everyone working with Qatar Foundation has a good quality of life, respectable living conditions and an appropriate work environment,” he said.

The conference, organised by QF’s Health, Safety, Security and Environment Directorate (HSSE) and Procurement Directorate, also aimed to raise awareness of QF’s new HSSE pre-qualification criteria.

With immediate effect, all contractors and subcontractors are expected to adhere to these guidelines in order to be eligible for any upcoming strategic tenders.

“Complying with the law and QF regulations is the primary condition for being eligible for future contracts with Qatar Foundation. Any supplier, contractor or subcontractor that violates this basic criteria will not be considered for any Qatar Foundation contracts,” Telefat asserted.

The official revealed a plan to launch a hotline for workers so they could lodge complaints and suggestions regarding their living and working conditions.

“It is the responsibility of every contractor, subcontractor and supplier to make sure that they self-audit their practices,” he pointed out.

“In addition, we will be creating a helpline where workers can report any violations that take place. These are the key factors for achieving the vision of QF to unlock human potential and improve the standard of living of those residing in Qatar.”

Telefat noted that a special department within QF had been created to address all workers’ welfare issues. He explained that the new department would  conduct regular assessments and inspections of all contractors to ensure they were complying with the criteria.

QF, he said, would ensure that all contractors met their contractual obligations to employees and that the Mandatory Standards of Migrant Workers’ Welfare for Contractors and Subcontractors were enforced, by rigorously holding to account all companies working with the Foundation.

Last April, QF pledged to enhance the quality of life of all its migrant workers and eradicate unfair employment practices by launching the new workers’ welfare Mandatory Standards, which is based on a holistic and principled approach that combines Qatari Labour Law and international best practice.

Through its mandatory standards, QF has introduced minimum requirements in relation to recruitment, living and working conditions and the general treatment of workers engaged in construction and other projects.

Also attending from QF were Sheikha Amal al-Thani (HSSE acting executive director), Mohamed Bakhamis (HSE director), Christopher Newman (welfare manager), Ameena Ahmadi (acting technical director, Capital Projects Directorate), Abdulla N al-Naemi (procurement director), Mohamed D al-Dosari (strategic sourcing senior manager), and Ahmed Abdi (strategic sourcing manager).

During the event, Ahmadi informed those gathered about QF’s current Education City Master Plan and upcoming projects and future construction opportunities.

In a separate presentation, Roger Griffiths, director of Design Entrepreneurship at Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar, showcased the research and development initiatives currently being implemented for migrant workers.

Leave a Reply