Standards for tournament services workers
Workers' recruitment

Standards for tournament services workers

Initiative description: Expanding the scope and application of the Workers’ Welfare Standards, or an adaptation of such, for workers engaged in the provision of services for all sites during the FIFA World Cup 2022™ tournament period. This includes workers in Qatar providing facilities management, hospitality, security, cleaning, catering, transport and other services for stadiums, training sites, and other official FIFA World Cup 2022™ sites such as headquarters hotels.

As we transition from a focus on construction towards tournament operations, an increasing number of workers in additional sectors, such as hospitality, transportation, logistics, and security, become linked to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ and fall within the scope of our Sustainability Strategy. Since 2020, we have gradually expanded the scope of the audit and inspection process to service companies with new business relationships with FIFA, Q22 and the SC. In doing so, we are building on the experiences from implementing the Workers’ Welfare Standards (WWS) in the construction sector.

In 2020 and 2021 we have been carrying out systematic integration of relevant workers’ welfare requirements in the tender processes and contracts with companies that will provide services both for host country and tournament operations. This has created the basis for effective enforcement of decent working and living conditions once relationships are established and activities under the agreements commence.

Since 2021, WWD has integrated more closely with Q22 and FIFA, with select key members managing the newly established Workers’ Welfare & Labour Rights functional area and playing an advisory role in the implementation of the WWS across all FIFA and Q22 workforce contracts linked to the FIFA World Cup 2022™.

Impact of Workers’ Welfare Standards on the hospitality sector

Hospitality was the first non-construction sector to pilot implementation of the WWS. The standards were mapped to international hospitality best practices and local standards to identify whether they needed to be enhanced for that industry. A number of external stakeholders including selected hotel operators, Impactt Ltd, Building and Woodworkers' International (BWI) and Ministry of Labour (MoL), were also consulted in the process. Given the holistic nature of the WWS, no significant changes were required.

A total of 153 hotels will be scoped into this programme, of which 21 began implementing the WWS as of December 2021. The SC has audited and inspected a majority of these hotel operators, including 65 of their OCPs, and has reported a 15% improvement in the average compliance score of hotel operators since its first engagement.

Hotel operators have demonstrated a strong commitment to improving their welfare practices in this sector, particularly in areas of ethical recruitment, accommodation and access to remedy. These include:

  • Improvement in accommodation standards with 86% of the workforce now being housed in centralised accommodation

  • Engagement with MoL-licensed agencies and inclusion of ethical recruitment clauses as a contractual obligation. Hotel operators are focusing on direct hiring to eliminate the risk of recruitment fees being charged

  • Provision of life insurance and annual leave with return air tickets. Lower incidents of passport retention reported, with hotel operators ensuring that staff are in possession of their personal documents

  • Implementation of the SC’s Workers’ Welfare Forums by 8 hotel operators to provide workers access to remedy. The SC is also delivering targeted trainings to the Workers’ Representatives, in collaboration with the International Labour Organisation (ILO), MoL and BWI

  • Stronger supply chain management through demobilisation of non-compliant sub-contractors, and the adoption of a better due diligence and selection process, which includes seeking WWD’s approval prior to deploying sub-contractors

The programme continues to expand to cover additional hotels with which FIFA, Q22 and the SC have established relationships, with a focus on capacity building and supply chain management.

Progress as of December 2021

  • 153 hotels signed a call-off agreement

  • 21 hotels audited

  • 15% overall improvement in compliance across hotels since their first engagement

  • 8 hotels implemented forums

  • 10 hotels received training on the SC’s WWS and Qatar Labour Law

  • 5,387 total active workforce

WWS Implementation during FIFA Test Events

Workers’ Welfare inspectors have been deployed in several FIFA Test Events, which provided an opportunity for the WWD to develop our capabilities in an environment similar to the FIFA World Cup™.

During the FIFA Arab Cup 2021™, which was the biggest test event of 2021, Workers’ Welfare inspectors conducted over 2,000 on-the-ground interviews with workers across 130 contractors involved in the tournament. Through an enhanced automated tournament-time checklist, we were able to identify, report and close-out 54% of the non-compliances by the end of the tournament. As a result of our due diligence, 9 contractors were demobilised from the event due to major non-compliances and 43 contractors were reported to MoL for further action. Workers’ Welfare continued to follow-up with contractors and government agencies post event to ensure that appropriate actions and enforcement were being taken.

For the FIFA World Cup 2022™, FIFA and Q22 have launched a collaborative human rights due diligence project with FIFA’s commercial affiliates. As part of the programme, commercial affiliates have have met online in 2020 and 2021 to discuss human rights due diligence plans associated with their activities linked to the tournament. Measures to ensure respect for labour rights by businesses associated with commercial affiliates are an important area of collaboration emerging from this project.