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Posted On: 4 July 2009 08:23 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:09 pm

NHRC stresses on adherence to labour law

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The National Human Rights Committee has laid emphasis on employers and sponsors strictly adhering to Law No.14/2004, which regulates the working hours of labourers during peak summer. The committee said that non-compliance with the law amounts to the offence of human trafficking. The Al Sharq daily reported that many sponsors and employers did not really care about the provisions made for workers in the country’s laws. It has been noticed that many labourers work in the open in sweltering conditions even during peak summer. “There are many sponsors who fail to implement the law in its letter and spirit. And the authorities are receiving complaints from labourers citing vioalitions of the law”, Al Sharq quoted sources in the human rights committee as saying. Several aggrieved labourers often choose not to approach the courts against the violations because they know it is a time-consuming exercise. Sometimes it takes six to 20 months to settle such cases. Hence the employers turn a blind eye to the workers’ plight. The daily said the law was enacted in line with the international labour law. In enacting such a law the government’s idea was to safeguard the rights of workers in this part of the world. Each and every employer is supposed to strictly abide by the law. The human rights committee also observed that some work sites lacked the mandatory facilities to be provided there during peak summer. The committee took exception to the practice of the officials concerned sitting in their offices and waiting for workers to submit complaints against erring employers. These officials must visit the project sites and ensure that the concerned law is being implemented by the sponsors and the rights of the workers are being protected, it said. As per a directive from the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, companies are not allowed to make labourers work in the open more than five hours in the morning and they should stop work by 11.30am. The work can be resumed only after 3pm, with an afternoon break of three-and-a-half hours. These timings, applied every year during peak summer, are intended to protect workers from exposure to extreme heat, sunlight and humidity. Qatar’s Labour Law makes it mandatory for employers to ensure the heath and safety of their workers in all situations.