Qatar is the forerunner when it comes to Human Rights in the Middle East. After the recent scandal and spotlight on the UAE, Qatar has been shaping the model to how Labourers are to be treated in the region.
Doha • The Department of Labour has issued a stern warning to some 204 companies for violating various provisions of the labour law and stopped dealing with them until they have fully complied with the legislation.
The firms were identified for action during a string of surprise raids conducted by labour inspectors between March 23 and 27 to check their compliance with the new labour law. The legislation prescribes strict health and safety conditions for workers at labour camps, company premises as well as construction sites and other workplaces.
“Transactions with these companies have been suspended until they have mended their ways and shown compliance with the labour law," a spokesman for the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs told The Peninsula yesterday. When asked what kind of dealings companies generally have with the Department of Labour, he said they are required to get clearances for work visas and endorsements for job contracts which they sign with their employees.
An official of a company applying for work visas has to appear for an interview with the Recruitment Committee at the Department of Labour. And an employee applying for a family visa, for instance, is also required to face an interview. “We have stopped all these dealings in respect of the 204 erring companies until they have corrected their situation,” the spokesman said.
He said the raids were not conducted as part of any specific campaign. “These are routine but surprise raids. We don't want to forewarn a company before conducting a search because they can rectify things temporarily." The violations detected by labour inspectors included all kinds of irregularities, including those to do with health and safety rules for workers and even delayed and non-payment of salaries and dues.
Citing an example, the ministry spokesman said a welding facility was raided and it was found that welders didn't have protective gears like special glasses to cover their eyes. Similarly, it was noticed at a construction site that workers carrying cement and sand mixtures were not provided devices that would protect their back and shoulders.
Among the places raided were labour camps as well and it was discovered that many of them housed more than the legally required numbers of workers in small rooms. Living conditions were found unhygienic.
There are provisions in the law to punish an erring company if it repeats the violations, said the official.
Source ::: The Peninsula
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