New building site rules on the anvil

June 06, 2014 - 4:58:42 am

DOHA: The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs has punished more than 200 companies in the first quarter (January-March) of this year for violating key provisions of the labour law.

More than 1,000 firms were issued warnings by the ministry as they were not fully complying with the provisions that aim at protecting workers’ rights.

A total of 10,500 raids on some 7,443 firms were conducted by inspectors in the first quarter.

Of these, routine inspections were conducted on 6,523 companies to check their compliance with the labour law. And 3,485 raids were conducted on work sites of 920 companies to check their compliance, specifically with occupational safety rules.

Temporary bans were imposed on some three percent of the firms as punishment for violating the law, while 15.9 percent of them were issued warnings. These companies have been asked to correct their situation.

About 80 percent of firms were found to be complying with the law. This was disclosed by Qatar’s Permanent Representative at the UN Office in Geneva, Faisal bin Abdullah Al Hanzab, yesterday at a meeting on the sidelines of the International Labour Conference which ends on June 12. Qatar is upgrading its rules and systems to conduct checks on construction sites to ensure that workers’ rights are protected.

Construction sites will soon be connected to Ground Positioning Systems and labour inspectors would be able to locate them with ease with the help of electronic devices. In 2011, the Cabinet had set up a national occupational safety committee as part of the ministry to find out the reasons why workers suffer injuries in work place and to take remedial measures.

Many hospitals exclusively meant for workers are being built in the country, said Al Hanzab.

A wage protection system is being launched whereby workers will be paid their wages by their employers through banks and exchange houses.

Labour inspectors will check online which companies haven’t paid wages to their workers in time and action will be taken against them, said the diplomat.

There are 198 inspectors with the ministry and only 16 of them are women, Al Hanzab said. He said there is no discrimination against women in the selection of inspectors. They are treated as equals with men. Their salaries and perks are the same. They are given the same incentives, he added.The Peninsula

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