Our workers are playing a significant role in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ journey. It is important for workers to express their opinions so that we are able to ensure their wellbeing by setting robust welfare standards. This is why we focus on giving an opportunity to be heard.
Workers’ Welfare has established a three-tier grievance mechanism to offer workers a safe and transparent platform to share their concerns, without fear of retaliation. It also helps us identify inadequacies in our programme and introduce new measures to enhance our efforts.
Our grievance mechanism includes:
- Workers’ Welfare Forums
- Workers’ Welfare Officers
- Grievance Hotline
Workers’ Welfare Forums
Our flagship grievance platform offers workers a safe environment to raise matters of concerns without fear of retaliation. These forums are designed to amplify workers’ voices, encouraging them to share grievances and suggestions for redress with their peers and management, guaranteeing greater access to remedy.
Our workers come from diverse cultural backgrounds and may be shy or fearful of expressing their concerns directly with their employers. This is why we allow workers to elect their colleagues as Workers’ Representatives from each nationality to encourage a culture of open dialogue.
These representatives serve as an important link between workers and employers. We find workers are more comfortable sharing grievances with their elected representatives, which helps us to be better aware of their needs. Our contractors conduct elections every year, providing all workers with a fair opportunity to represent their nationality. Watch how one of our biggest contractors, HBK Contracting, conducted their recent election below.
Every month, the representatives participate in forums to discuss grievances shared by workers. Our representatives are well trained to become solution providers and take leadership roles in challenging scenarios. They are demonstrating true passion in managing the welfare of their peers.
In 2016, we established a joint working group with the global union Building and Wood Workers’ International as part of a cooperation agreement. Part of the group’s mandate has been to assess the impact of the forums and other grievance mechanisms. It also conducts training to help representatives better communicate the grievances of workers at forums.
Impact of our forums
Many of our contractors recognise the benefits of a transparent grievance system for workers. Twelve of our contractors are now conducting forums for other workers, these extend beyond tournament-related projects.
In 2019, the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour & Social Affairs (MoADLSA) attended four Workers’ Representative elections and 14 forum meetings to study the impact of these forums on employer-worker relationships. Our forums have proved successful in amplifying workers’ voices and are paving the way for a nationwide implementation of joint committees – as mandated by Qatar’s Labour Law. This is yet another example of the legacy we are building for the welfare of workers in the country beyond 2022.
Workers’ Welfare Officers
Workers’ Welfare Officers are appointed by contractors to oversee the wellbeing of workers at project sites and accommodation facilities. They are responsible for coordinating with Workers’ Representatives during forums to provide remedial action. If any issue cannot be resolved at this stage, the officers escalate them to the Programme Welfare Forum to identify effective solutions and strategies.
In 2017, Workers’ Welfare introduced a dedicated workers’ grievance hotline, in partnership with Navex Global, allowing workers to report grievances anonymously. The hotline is accessible 24/7 and assistance is provided in 11 different languages. Our team regularly conducts awareness sessions to encourage workers to utilise this platform efficiently and share their concerns without any fear.
Figures are as of 31 August 2021.
Figures in videos are accurate and consistent with the period of filming.