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12 Apr 2022

Qatar: Rideshare platforms reportedly exclude drivers from labour protections & sponsors fail to provide benefits; incl. comments from Careem, Uber did not respond

In April 2022, Migrant-Rights.org published a report into the working conditions of workers in Qatar for rideshare platforms Careem and Uber. The report also touched on similar conditions in the UAE.

The report found that drivers are not afforded labour protections through the rideshare brands they drive for, despite being obliged to pay an exorbitant 25% commission on fares to the rideshare brand. Moreover, the sponsoring companies who employ the drivers are also failing in their responsibilities under the labour law to provide workers with benefits and workers are routinely charged fees of hundreds or thousands of dollars by the sponsoring limousine company. These fees can include: mortgage fees and a fee to identify the car with the sponsor if they own the car they drive; rental fees if they do not own the car they drive; vehicle insurance; maintenance; fuel; visa renewal; and, health card. The result is drivers working 80 or 90 hour weeks to be able to save any money.

Migrant-Rights.org also found employers were using a deposit from drivers to appear compliant with the Wage Protection System that tracks paid wages, depositing and withdrawing the money monthly while none of the drivers spoken to had access to their bank card or money.

Careem provided a written response to six questions from Migrant-Rights.org regarding working conditions for drivers and their responsibilities in the Gulf context. Uber did not respond. Business & Human Rights Resource Centre also approached Uber but they again did not respond to the questions.