Qatar: Security guards at EGSSCO given contracts restricting their ability to change jobs in breach of Qatari law; clients of EGSSCO provide clarification
On 26 April, security guards at European Guardian & Security Services Co. (EGSSCO), one of the largest security companies in Qatar, went on strike in protest of new contracts the company had given to them. The workers alleged that the new contracts violated the new minimum wage requirement, and demeaned the increase of salaries as per the minimum wage set out by the new labour law reform.
An investigation carried out by the Qatari authorities found that all workers' wages according to the new contract complied with the minimum wage threshold. However, the authorities found that the new contracts include a clause stating that workers must work for EGSSCO for at least five years and are not allowed to change jobs during this period. This clause violates Qatar labour law’s non-compete clause that abolished the legal requirement for migrant workers to obtain a permission from their employers to switch jobs (no-objection certificate).
The Qatari authorities have confirmed that they have taken necessary actions to resolve the violation with the company and ensure the workers’ rights are met.
Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited the publicly displayed clients of EGSSCO to respond. We asked the clients to set out any steps they are taking in response and what due diligence they undertook on EGSSCO before contracting with them.
Ezdan Holding groups, Hilton, Construction and Reconstruction Engineering Co., Qatar Gas Transport Co, FIFA, Marriott have provided the below responses, while QAPCO, QAFCO, Al-Shaheen Holding, Qatar Development Bank, QAFAC, Katara Hospitality, Al Muftah did not respond. EGGSCO were recently contracted to provide workers during the FIFA Club World Cup; FIFA also provided a response.
“In the case of EGSSCO, the new contract offered to employees violates the law amended in September 2020 to abolish restrictions that could restrict a worker’s ability to change jobs,”Government Official