DOHA: The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs is gearing up to launch massive crackdowns on private companies that breach the labour law and abuse workers’ rights as the number of foreign workers in the country has been going up considerably to engage in mega development projects being launched for the 2022 FIFA event.
The ministry says it is recruiting an increasing number of inspectors to mount raids and checks on companies to make sure they comply with the labour law. Contracting companies are particularly under scrutiny as they are large employers of foreign workforce, and most worker complaints are lodged against them.
The ministry is also hiring more language interpreters so workers’ woes can be redressed by the Labour Department and its branches efficiently.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, H E Abdullah Saleh Al Khulaifi, yesterday on the sidelines of a function at Qatar University of which he has been a president.
“We will not hesitate to take necessary action to protect the rights of expatriate workforce,” the Minister told reporters.
The Labour Department and its branch offices are adding more staff to deal with the growing numbers of foreign workers who are coming over to engage in development projects being launched for the 2022 World Cup soccer. It is also hiring additional translators so they could interpret complaints of workers of different nationalities, he said, replying to questions from reporters about an article that appeared in a Western newspaper about the labour situation in Qatar.
The ministry takes the issues of labourers very seriously. The inspection of contracting companies is going on to check how they are dealing with their workers. Companies are under scrutiny to make them comply with the provisions of the labour law regarding health, safety, accommodation and salaries, among others.
The labour law is comprehensive and should be implemented cent per percent and it is a minimum requirement to protect the rights of workers, said the Minister, who headed the committee that framed Qatar’s Constitution a decade ago.
The ministry is always keen to resolve conflicts of labourers with their employers amicably, therefore several branch offices of the Labour Department have been set up all over the country, especially in areas with concentration of single workers such as the Industrial Area, he added.
If the Labour Department and its branch offices fail to settle workers’ disputes with their employers, the cases are immediately referred to the court, said the Minister. The Peninsula