QF stresses importance of worker welfare standards
Foundation plans to launch hotline for worker complaints
The Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF) reiterated its commitment to enforcing welfare standards for migrant workers in the country at a recent conference conducted at the Qatar National Convention Centre in Doha.
At the conference, which was attended by more than 500 contractors, Eng. Jassim M. Telefat, group executive director of Qatar Foundation’s capital projects and facilities management, stressed on the importance of QF’s Mandatory Standards of Migrant Workers’ Welfare for Contractors and Subcontractors, and warned that severe action would be taken against companies that don’t adhere to these standards.
"Qatar is well known for its hospitality, and we consider the workers our guests," Telefat said. "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."
The conference, which was organised by Qatar Foundation's Health, Safety, Security and Environment Directorate (HSSE) and Procurement Directorate (PD), 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,” Telefat said. “Any supplier, contractor or subcontractor that violates this basic criteria will not be considered for any Qatar Foundation contracts.”
Telefat also revealed a plan to launch a hotline for workers so they can 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 said. "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 the Foundation to unlock human potential and improve the standard of living of those residing in Qatar."
Telefat also noted that a special department within the Foundation has been created to address all workers' welfare issues. He explained that this department would conduct regular assessments and inspections of all contractors to ensure they are complying with the criteria.
Qatar Foundation will ensure that all contractors meet their contractual obligations to employees, and that the Mandatory Standards of Migrant Workers' Welfare for Contractors and Subcontractors are enforced, by rigorously holding to account all companies working with the Foundation.
Last April, Qatar Foundation 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 an approach that combines Qatari Labour Law and international best practice.
Through its mandatory standards, Qatar Foundation has introduced minimum requirements in relation to recruitment, living and working conditions, and the general treatment of workers engaged in construction and other projects.