The Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs (MADLSA) has studied the impact of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy's (SC) Workers' Welfare Forums (WWF) to support the replication of joint worker-employer committees in Qatar.
The SC introduced WWFs in 2015 to amplify workers' voices and offer greater access to remedy. A total of 62 elections have been held since, with more than 21,000 workers covered by the process, sc.qa reported.
Officials from the MADLSA and International Labour Organisation (ILO) Project Office for Qatar have spent the last few months observing the SC's WWF meetings and elections – democratic platforms protecting workers engaged on FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 projects.
So far, 62 WWF elections have been held at 32 different accommodations covering 16,000 workers – roughly 57% of the SC's workforce.
Workers attending a Forum meeting
MADLSA and ILO representatives have already attended four WWF elections and 10 WWF meetings in order to gain an insight into establishing joint committees – mandated by Qatar's Labour Law – aimed at preventing and resolving issues between employees and employers. These committees will be rolled out across Qatar over the next 12 months.
Mahmoud Qutub, executive director of the SC Workers' Welfare Department, said: "We are extremely proud the impact our Workers' Welfare Elections have had over the last few years.
"We have worked closely with our colleagues at the MADLSA and ILO to demonstrate the impact of our forums and will continue to support their efforts introducing similar concepts across Qatar."
Since 2016 the SC's WWFs have grown from 14 to 108. Mandated by the SC's Workers' Welfare Standards, the impact of the forums and elections was strengthened in 2017 following recommendations made by the Joint Working Group of the SC and global trade union Building and Wood Workers' International, the report noted.
The ministry and ILO are currently leveraging their three-year technical co-operation agreement to support the establishment of joint committees with partners from the private sector.
A representative for MADLSA said, "We have worked closely with the Supreme Committee to understand why these forums have proven successful. We have been encouraged by the level of participation and voter turnout in their elections and recognise they help raise the voice of workers in Qatar. We will continue working with the SC to understand their process and implement best practice. The experiences gained will be applied to the committees as we roll them out nationwide in the near future."
Houtan Homayounpour, head of the ILO Project Office for Qatar, added: "The SC's elections have played a critical role amplifying the voices of workers. We value the opportunity to learn more about their success to help demonstrate the importance of dialogue between employer and employee."