Workers’ recruitment and working conditions
Objective: Promote and ensure decent working and living conditions and fair recruitment for workers engaged in construction, provision of services, and other construction projects and supply chain relationships directly linked to the FIFA World Cup 2022™
Across its lifecycle, the FIFA World Cup 2022™ will have enlisted a workforce of tens of thousands of people, mostly migrant workers. This workforce is comprised of full-time and temporary employees, contractor, sub-contractor and supplier employees, and volunteers, providing key services in areas such as construction, food and beverage, cleaning, event management, hospitality, transport and security.
This also includes workers in the tournament organisers’ supply chains, and those in the supply chains of our sponsors and licensees, who are engaged in product manufacturing and the production of building materials for the tournament.
Thousands of additional workers have also been engaged in the construction of and provision of services for infrastructure that is not being developed directly for the FIFA World Cup™, but will be used during the tournament, such as transport systems, roads, ports, utilities and hotels. The FIFA World Cup 2022™ has an effect on the requirements and deadlines for those projects, even though there is no direct control over those projects.
This diverse workforce requires that effective measures in accordance with relevant international standards are put in place to ensure the labour rights of all workers associated with the tournament. At the same time, the tournament provides the opportunity to help advance the protection of labour rights in Qatar and beyond.
Human Rights: The Path to Progress
FIFA’s Human Rights Policy, provides a framework for all of FIFA’s human rights work and details its commitment to upholding and promoting the highest international labour standards, in particular the principles of the eight core International Labour Organization (ILO) conventions. It commits to doing so by seeking to ensure respect for labour standards by its business partners and in the various activities directly linked to its operations, including through its supply chains.
Human rights risks to workers associated with the FIFA World Cup 2022™ have been thoroughly assessed and are detailed in Annexe 3 of the FIFA World Cup 2022™ Sustainability Strategy. Such risks include practices amounting to forced or compulsory labour, discrimination, limitations on freedom of movement and association, the right to collective bargaining, threats to worker health and safety, work conditions, remuneration, standard of living, and access to effective remedy.
Qatar’s legal and regulatory framework for the protection of labour rights has seen important developments in recent years. The technical cooperation agreement between the Qatari government and the ILO will facilitate our efforts to ensure the welfare of all workers associated with the tournament in Qatar.
To mitigate the risks from working in Qatar’s intense heat and humidity, Qatari law currently prohibits working in open workplaces from 10:00am-3:30pm, from June 1 to September 15 annually. Qatar has also committed to developing a heat mitigation strategy as part of its technical cooperation programme with the ILO.
While important progress is being achieved, there are still gaps in Qatari labour regulations when compared to relevant international standards, such as with respect to freedom of association and collective bargaining.
Our initiatives are designed to deliver on our objectives within Qatar’s legal and regulatory framework, while also taking steps to support the Qatari government with continued reform at the national level towards full compliance with relevant international labour standards.
Qatar’s legal and regulatory framework for the protection of labour and human rights has seen important developments that will facilitate our efforts to promote fair recruitment practices for all workers associated with the tournament in Qatar. In 2017, the Qatari government committed to a range of labour reforms through a technical cooperation programme with the ILO which includes improvement in payment of wages; enhanced labour inspection and occupational safety and health systems; refinement of the employment contract system replacing the kafala system and improvement of labour recruitment procedures; increased prevention, protection and prosecution against forced labour; and promotion of the workers’ voice.
Since then, Qatar has abolished the requirement for most expatriate workers to obtain an exit permit from their employer in order to leave Qatar, thereby reducing barriers to freedom of movement for workers. In October 2019, the Council of Ministers of the State of Qatar endorsed new draft legislation allowing workers to change employers freely and eliminating the requirement to provide no-objection certificates to terminate their contracts. In addition, a new draft law to establish a non-discriminatory minimum wage, the first in the Middle-East, was also endorsed.
Currently, Qatar has set a non-discriminatory minimum wage of QAR 1,000 per month, and QAR 1,800 per month where the employer does not provide food and accommodation. To prevent delays in workers’ salaries and ensure that workers are paid as per their employment agreement, a mechanism called the Wage Protection System (WPS) has operated since 2015, whereby companies are required to transfer the salaries of all employees through an electronic system to the employees’ accounts in one of the country’s recognised financial institutions. In 2018, the Workers’ Support and Insurance Fund was established to ensure that workers receive their wages in cases where their employers are unable to pay on time.
Although Qatar Labour Law does not permit workers in Qatar to form or join independent unions, conduct strikes, and bargain collectively, it does support the establishment of joint committees with an equal number of worker and management representatives, with workers electing their representatives. In 2018, Qatar also established a Labour Dispute Resolution Committee with a mandate to settle labour disputes within three weeks of a worker filing a complaint if this is not resolved directly by the Ministry of Labour (MoL).
Qatar's Labour Law also prohibits an employer or recruitment agency from charging workers any fees or commissions for their recruitment in Qatar and obliges employers to use certified recruitment agencies. No entry visa is granted to a migrant worker for the purpose of work except under a contract signed directly between the recruiting party and the expatriate worker that is certified and approved by MoL.