160 contractors agree to reimburse recruitment fees to Qatar 2022 workers

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Doha: Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy yesterday posted on their twitter account that 160 contractors engaged on 2022 FIFA World Cup projects have agreed to reimburse more than $25m to thousands of workers who paid recruitment fees prior to moving to Qatar.

Charging recruitment fees from workers is illegal under Qatari law and prohibited under SC’s Workers’ Welfare Standards.

SC contractors are asked for evidence of recruitment fees they paid for workers. If contractors can’t provide proof they have to reimburse.

“We educate and work with our contractors to put money back in the pocket of our workers,” a video posted along with the tweet explained.

Contractors are also reimbursing 16,560 workers not involved in Qatar 2022 projects. Numerous workers were forced to pay recruitment fees in their home countries before moving to Qatar, despite the practice being illegal under Qatari law.

“No worker should bear the cost of recruitment fees; that cost should be borne by the contractor,” Mahmoud Qutub, Workers’ Welfare Executive Director at the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, had said earlier during a conference held in October.

“We engage with contractors to help them understand the benefit of reimbursing workers and to reiterate it is simply the right thing to do,” he added.

Qutub had said that this project showed the SC’s commitment to legacy was already making an impact – four years before the tournament kicks off.

“The impact in a very short space of time has been dramatic,” said Qutub. “We have gone from the uncertainty of trying to tackle a complex global issue, to engaging in open dialogue with contractors that has benefitted more than a third of our workforce. This is the legacy of a World Cup in action.”

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In addition to recruitment fees, a range of other initiatives are delivered by the SC’s Workers’ Welfare Department, notably the grievance mechanisms available to workers and the nutrition programme implemented alongside Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar.

A collaboration with UK-based TechNiche and Hamad Bin Khalifa University to develop the ‘AirCool’ suit – a revolutionary garment designed to minimise heat stress on construction sites.Courtesy:The Peninsula