Frequently asked questions

frequently asked questions
Get answers to some of the frequently asked questions about the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) and the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™.
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What proactive measures were taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among the SC workforce prior to any cases being reported?

The SC takes all necessary precautions for workers, in line with the COVID-19 preventative measures and interim guidelines recommended by the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH). Six weeks prior to the first cases reported, we utilised our existing network of medical clinics across all sites and accommodations, immediately implementing the following actions:

  1. All healthcare professionals following MoPH interim measures issued on 1 March 2020 to control COVID-19 outbreak. Workers’ temperatures taken twice daily.
  2. Conducted a risk assessment exercise for our accommodations, kitchen facilities and high risk workers to mitigate the impact of COVID-19.
  3. Workers with chronic diseases and those above 55 years of age have been temporarily demobilised from site due to them being more vulnerable to COVID-19. The SC relocated all the high risk workers to an SC-compliant centralised accommodation. They continue to receive their salaries along with free food and accommodation.
  4. Workers were temporarily demobilised from high risk accommodations (i.e. those locations with a cluster of cases). Nine percent of the SC workforce in decentralised accommodations were relocated to centralised accommodation facilities.
  5. Carried out inspections of existing caterers’ kitchen facilities and, based on risk assessments, identified caterers that either need to (i) upgrade their kitchen operations or (ii) be replaced with a caterer that is equipped with better facilities, to ensure that higher standards are in place to mitigate against COVID-19.
  6. Awareness sessions delivered on construction sites and accommodations to educate workers on the importance of prevention.
  7. 300,000 masks distributed to 19,000 workers. In case of a shortage of masks, workers were advised to use personal scarves. Disinfection measures have been applied to these scarves using dedicated washing machines.
  8. Sanitizers distributed on SC projects.
  9. Workers’ temperatures taken twice daily.
  10. Interim disinfection protocols have been implemented at site and accommodation medical facilities.
  11. Non-essential visitors to SC construction sites prohibited.
  12. Quarantine rooms established on all SC sites and accommodations.
  13. COVID-19 inspections are carried out daily across SC construction and accommodation sites, to ensure the following: hygiene and sanitation of on-site clinics, social distancing in dining halls and buses, sanitization and hygiene, compliance of wearing masks, and temperature checks.
  14. Developed task-specific inspection checklists and conducted inspections across all SC construction sites, to identify if all requirements are met with respect to hygiene and sanitation in site clinics, kitchens, dining halls, and offices and meeting spaces. There have been over 4,940 inspections completed to date.
  15. Supported the development of a COVID-19 awareness app that has reached more than 200,000+ residents (including SC workers).

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After the first cases of COVID-19 were reported, what actions were taken to support the SC workers?

  1. Mental health awareness campaign to support workers during COVID-19 launched with the MoPH and Hamad Medical Corporation. Delivered five videos and four infographics in eight languages with mental health professionals to raise awareness on stress, anxiety, social isolation, depression, wellbeing and physical health. Supported the development of an app that to date has already had over 203,000 downloads. Content distributed to all SC workers via Workers’ Welfare Officers, directly to 18,000 workers via SMS, and to 15 embassies to be shared with their constituencies.
  2. In early May, with the guidance and approval of the MoPH, introduced an SC 1,000 bed-capacity isolation facility for treating workers infected with COVID-19, to ensure that the SC could monitor and maintain strict quarantine protocols to minimize the spread of infection among the rest of the workforce.
  3. Conducted daily workers’ sentiment and well-being interviews with workers diagnosed with COVID-19 to ensure they were feeling safe and comfortable during their isolation period. Over 1,180 interviews conducted to date.

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Has testing taken place or is it planned to take place within SC construction sites and or accommodations?

The SC is screening workers where applicable. Over 3,600 workers have been tested to date. All workers with upper respiratory tract symptoms are examined by our work site doctors and nurses, following the Minstry of Public Health Minstry of Public Health (MoPH) visual triage screening. As per MoPH protocol, testing for COVID-19 is only permitted to take place within Hamad Hospital and Communicable Disease Center-assigned hospitals.

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Have any SC workers tested positive for COVID-19?

A number of SC staff and workers on SC sites have tested positive for COVID-19. The SC’s response is guided by the procedures and advice from the MoPH, which is leading on the treatment of those diagnosed with COVID-19 in Qatar.

Those that have tested positive are treated in isolation by MoPH at their designated medical facility (from May 2020 to Aug 2020, they were treated in an SC isolation facility) and are monitored on an ongoing basis by medical professionals. The period of isolation is dependent on the progress of each case. Those who came into close contact with confirmed cases of COVID-19 are being quarantined for a period of 14 days as a precautionary measure and will continue to be monitored.

All workers will continue to receive their salaries whilst in isolation, in line with Qatari government policy. Free COVID-19-related healthcare for all is also guaranteed by the government.

The SC’s clinics are reporting suspected cases, fulfilling the requirement of MoPH for reporting on a daily basis. This reporting is taking place through a unified, confidential software – SystmOne – introduced by the SC in partnership with The Phoenix Partnership (TPP) to manage workers’ medical records and is the first of its kind in Qatar.

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Has there been an increase in medical staff on sites as a precaution?

The SC has a comprehensive medical framework on all projects and accommodations, including dedicated nurses, doctors and clinics. The Workers’ Welfare department has its own doctor who is responsible for coordinating the work of all healthcare professionals connected to our projects.

The SC is on alert for any COVID-19 symptoms and, if detected, will follow Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) protocol. The SC also has a robust contingency plan in place, with adequate resources ready to provide sufficient medical care if conditions worsen.

We created a new module within our SystmOne software to manage the COVID-19 cases across SC sites. The data is updated by respective sites on an ongoing basis and used for reporting purposes.

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Are workers charged for treatment if they are diagnosed with COVID-19?

All COVID-19-related healthcare is provided free of charge by Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC). Treatment for any other medical condition is provided by HMC or provided by our contractors, as per the SC’s mandated Workers’ Welfare Standards.

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Will workers be allowed to leave for their country of origin in case of a family emergency?

Assuming necessary flight restrictions do not impact routes to the home countries of workers, anyone can travel to their home countries in the case of an emergency. Any further changes to the State of Qatar’s evolving travel policy will be strictly adhered to by the SC and its contractors.

The SC will work with its contractors to ensure workers that are currently on leave will be able to report back for duty once airports reopen.

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How do you plan to isolate or implement social distancing when workers share living quarters?

The SC has established isolation rooms in separate blocks and/or buildings on all of our accommodations and will continue to follow MoPH protocol. We have also implemented physical distancing protocols in the dining halls and on transportation used by workers. We will continue to test where relevant, with any suspected cases reported to the relevant authorities with the appropriate action taken.

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What wage protection measures for workers have been taken during COVID-19?

On 31 March 2020 the Ministry of Administrative Development Labour and Social Affairs (MoADLSA) announced that workers in quarantine and isolation will be paid full salary without any deduction and that it is mandatory for employers and companies to follow this policy. A specific amount has been earmarked to pay the salaries of workers and the rents of employers during this period.

Under article 82 of the Qatari Labour Law, employees are entitled to sick leave with pay for each year of service, unless within the first three months of employment, and provided the employee can provide a medical report issued by a competent physician approved by the employer.

Employees are entitled to full sick pay for two weeks, reducing to half pay thereafter for a further four weeks. Sick leave can be extended for a maximum of six weeks beyond this period, until the worker either resumes his duties or is unable to return to work due to health reasons.

If an employee chooses to resign from his job during the first six weeks of sick leave, his or her employer is liable to settle the balance of all financial entitlements. This provision shall also apply in the event of death by reason of sickness before the end of the aforementioned six weeks. If an employee takes sick leave for the full 12-week period, this does not constitute an interruption of continuous service and will not affect any end of service gratuity which is owed.

The SC remains in constant dialogue with all of our contractors and will engage with contractors on a case-by-case basis if any issues directly relating to salary payment occur.

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Would you consider suspending work on SC projects if there is a breakout of COVID-19?

The SC reviews the situation on a continuous basis and will take the necessary measures to protect the health and safety of all construction workers and direct staff, which may include temporary suspension of work as and when required.

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