Qatar uncovers companies flouting labour laws

May 31, 2011

Qatar’s public health authorities have blown the whistle on a number of private companies that failed to provide medical care to their workers in violation of the labour law.

The companies produced bogus documents to prove their compliance with the legislation.

The modus operandi is that they enter into sham deals with private healthcare providers and submit copies of the so-called contracts to the labour department to show that they are abiding by the law, Qatari daily The Peninsula reported on Tuesday.

The violations were discovered after senior Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) officials observed that some companies dropped their sick or injured workers in buses in front of the emergency unit almost every morning for free treatment, a senior HMC official said.

He said since the companies broke the law by failing to provide health care and abused the system, the matter was reported to the labour department for follow-up and action.

Under Article 104 of the labour law, all private companies must provide full medical care to their workers. Companies with five to 25 workers are required to have first aid box in their premises with essential medicines approved by public healthcare authorities, the official said.

Companies employing more than 100 workers are required to have a full-time nurse to deal with medical emergencies while establishments with more than 500 workers must either enter into contract with a large private healthcare facility or set up their own clinics with a full-time doctor and two nurses.

However, according to HMC official Abdul Majeed Basheer, some large companies sign contracts with private healthcare centres only as a formality and do not send their sick or injured workers for treatment to these places.

“The fact is that these companies actually drop their injured workers for treatment at HMC’s emergency unit free of charge in gross violation of the provisions of the labour law,” said Basheer who heads the legal section of the HMC.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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