Dubai to give priority to construction firms who treat their labourers the best

sheikh hamdanDubai-based construction companies will be ranked according to how well they treat their labourers, under a new welfare ratings system launched at the weekend.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, announced on his website the launch of the system, called the Taqdeer Award, which means ‘appreciation’ in Arabic.

The award system aims to promote best practices in labour welfare. Working and living conditions for construction workers in the Gulf have come criticised by international human rights organisations in recent years, most notably in Qatar.

Dubai-based construction companies involved in civil, electrical and mechanical work that have been operating for at least two years, have completed a minimum of two projects and employ manual workers, are eligible for applying to the Taqdeer Award.

Companies are invited to submit an application to be evaluated by the Taqdeer judging committee against three criteria: ‘essential fundamentals’ (corporate labour and health and safety policies, wages, facilities and infrastructure); ‘culture and work environment’ (justice and transparency, administration and creativity), and ‘results’ (labour perceptions and performance indicators).

Applicants will be given a score out of 1,000 and awarded a rating ranging from one to five stars based on the points received for each of the criteria. Companies will at least 700 points will be awarded five stars; those with at least 550 points will be awarded four stars, and companies with over 450 will get three stars.

Companies with over 300 points will get two stars, while the lowest rating of one star is handed to companies with less than 200 points.

Four- and five-star-rated winners will receive a certificate, enjoy a competitive advantage in government and other tenders for new projects, and be honoured at an awards ceremony next year.

In the first year of the award, only companies involved in the construction of buildings, roads, bridges, tunnels, plumbing installation and power generation plants are eligible to apply, according to the statement on Sheikh Hamdan’s website.

Sheikh Hamdan said: “The Taqdeer Award reflects the importance Dubai places on ensuring progressive labour practices in line with global standards.

“The new programme is consistent with the objectives of Dubai Plan 2021 to make Dubai a city of happy, empowered people.

“The award’s extensive evaluation framework will encourage companies to aspire to high standards in their management of labour, and we are confident it will help set new benchmarks for good labour practices across sectors and throughout the region.”

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