Enforcement of the Workers' Welfare Standards
Workers' recruitment

Enforcement of the Workers' Welfare Standards

Initiative description: Continuing to enforce the Workers’ Welfare Standards and best-practice health and safety standards for all SC capital projects and manpower services contracts through the four-tier auditing system.

The SC’s Workers’ Welfare Standards (WWS), are a set of mandatory requirements developed to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of workers across the FIFA World Cup 2022™ project. They are applicable and enforced for all contractors and Other Contracting Parties (OCPs) working in the construction of SC stadiums and training sites that will be used for the tournament. The WWS have been extended to other services associated with the tournament such as hospitality, security and logistics, ensuring that all workers involved in delivering the tournament have the same high levels of protection.

Workers' Welfare Journey

Workers’ Welfare Audits and Inspections

WWS implementation ensures that companies working on all tournament-related projects operate in line with the SC’s values and ethics as well as the Qatari labour law, and that all workers contributing to the delivery of these projects are treated with respect and dignity. In 2021, a Workers’ Welfare & Labour Rights functional area was established within Q22 to ensure consistent principles and standards for workers’ welfare across all related activities.

Audits and inspections of the WWS is well-established and is carried out using a four-tier audit system overseen by the Workers’ Welfare Department (WWD). This includes audits and inspections conducted by the SC, external monitor Impactt Ltd, and the Ministry of Labour (MoL) on an ad-hoc basis. More than 79,000 hours of audits and inspections have taken place as of December 2021.

The SC’s Workers’ Welfare Health & Safety team also carries out specialised accommodation and site welfare inspections focusing on workers’ health & safety. Since 2020, health and safety inspections have also been extended to the hospitality industry as part of the Workers’ Welfare ongoing legacy expansion to include tournament-centric services. A total of 1,621 health and safety inspections (1,019 at construction sites and 602 at accommodation sites) were conducted as of December 2021.

In addition to these inspections, the Technical Delivery Office (TDO) Health & Safety team conducted a total of 33,452 inspections (6,525 health & safety inspections and 26,927 task-specific inspections) on all FIFA World Cup 2022™ construction site projects as of December 2021.

The Joint Working Group set up by the SC and Building and Wood Workers’ International (BWI), following a Cooperation Agreement in 2016, has conducted 21 inspections between 2016 and 2021, focusing on construction sites and their associated accommodation facilities. During recent inspections, a number of good practices were identified and acknowledged, including the high standard of housekeeping, the quality of the accommodation, and well-maintained mess halls and medical facilities. Most of the issues identified were observations, indicating that the WWS are now deeply ingrained in the SC programme.

Due diligence and ongoing monitoring

The WWS are contractually binding. Accordingly, the Workers’ Welfare Department (WWD) performs supply-chain due diligence activities to ensure compliance throughout the project life cycle.

Contractors across different tiers must undergo pre-mobilisation approval to ensure they are WWS-compliant before deployment. Once approved, contractors are included in the WWD’s quarterly audits and inspections plan for ongoing compliance monitoring as per the four-tier audit system illustrated above.

For contractors that do not meet the WWS, the WWD develops rectification plans that help contractors resolve non-compliances, and where persistent and critical violations are identified, a number of enforcement measures are implemented.

As of December 2021, the WWD has taken the following action:

  • 391 contractors have been reported to MoL

  • 50 contractors have been blocked by MoL from deploying on SC projects

  • 56 contractors have been demobilised from SC projects

  • 226 contractors have been placed on a watch list

  • 7 contractors have been blacklisted

Health and Safety Record

The SC has always been transparent in relation to its health and safety record and regularly discloses all work-related fatalities and non-work-related deaths in its annual progress reports.

Over the course of 419.8 million working hours, there have been three work-related fatalities. The SC deeply regrets these tragedies and investigated each incident in line with its Incident Investigation Procedure (IIP) to ensure lessons were learned. In recent times, the SC has leveraged the expertise of international health and safety experts from BWI and the UK Health and Safety Executive on work-related fatalities investigations.

Corrective action is put in place to prevent further recurrences and as a result, the SC has recorded an Accident Frequency Rate (AFR) of 0.02 across the FIFA World Cup™ construction sites, which is low when compared to other mega events.

There have also been 36 non-work-related deaths recorded on the programme from start of construction on SC sites and until December 2021. The IIP involves evidence collection and analysis, witness interviews to establish the facts as well as preparing a detailed report.

For more information on overall progress and performance related to workers’ welfare please see our annual reports here.

COVID-19 response

The SC’s early response and proactive approach to the pandemic has been effective in minimising the spread of infections amongst its workforce. With a robust healthcare infrastructure and comprehensive medical screenings in place, the SC has successfully leveraged existing systems to isolate high-risk workers and provide treatment where necessary.

The SC continues to maintain constant communication with workers, contractors and the relevant authorities, to ensure adherence with changing COVID-19 policies and guidelines. A mental health awareness campaign has also been rolled out to all workers, addressing key areas such as depression, anxiety and general well-being.

Since the nation-wide COVID-19 vaccination campaign was initiated, 16,742 workers have been fully vaccinated as of December 2021. This case study highlights how COVID-19 was managed on SC sites.