FIFA President and Qatar Minister of Labour meet to discuss progress of labour rights
The FIFA President today met with the Qatar Minister of Labour, Dr. Ali bin Samikh Al Marri in Doha. With the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 kicking off in just over 250 days, the discussions focused on the important progress achieved in the area of workers welfare and labour rights since the tournament was awarded to Qatar in 2010, as well as the work that remains to be done to ensure a lasting social legacy of football’s flagship event in the host country. "We have to acknowledge the important progress that has been achieved in Qatar over the last decade" said FIFA President Gianni Infantino. "Landmark legislative reforms have been introduced and have already brought concrete benefits for hundreds of thousands of migrant workers.
"I am pleased to see the strong commitment from the Qatari authorities to ensure the reforms are fully implemented across the labour market, leaving a lasting legacy of the FIFA World Cup long after the event, and benefiting migrant workers in the host country in the long term. Challenges still remain - like in many other countries around the world- but the progress achieved in the recent past is undeniable, as is the commitment to bring about positive social change.” Dr. Ali bin Samikh Al Marri stated: “The State of Qatar has been a pioneer in modernising labour law and regulations regarding workers welfare. Such reforms are based on a legal and legislative framework that will continue to be applied after the World Cup.”
During their meeting, Gianni Infantino and Dr. Ali bin Samikh Al Marri acknowledged the conclusions of the recently conducted International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) mission to Qatar which has highlighted the major advances in labour reform, setting a solid platform for worker protection beyond 2022, and expressly mentioning some of the already evident positive effects of the reforms.
For example, the new law on minimum wage has already led to increased wages for 280,000 workers (13% of the total workforce). Similarly, since May 2021, the legislation on working during high temperatures (with outdoor work banned above 32.1°C on the WGBT Index) has resulted in a sharp decline in heat related cases treated in Qatar, with 338 businesses being shut down for non-compliance since its enforcement.
The labour reforms also include new regulations on overtime pay, termination and conditions of employment for domestic workers, the setting up of 14 new Qatar Visa Centres in several origin countries, as well as joint committees being established to facilitate worker participation in companies in collaboration with BWI, ITF and UNI Global Union. Today’s discussions come after a meeting held yesterday (14 March 2022) at the Home of FIFA with representatives of Amnesty International to discuss the situation of migrant workers in Qatar, in particular the latest initiatives undertaken to extend workers protection to the service sector.