Qatar 2022 contractor in focus: QPEC
Prioritising the induction process and working hard to implement a family atmosphere have helped QPEC earn praise from both the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) and Impactt – the SC's external monitor.
Since 2016, QPEC has been appointed as a sub-contractor to manage electrical installations at four Qatar 2022 stadiums: Al Bayt, Al Janoub, Education City and Al Rayyan. A team of 250 QPEC workers are engaged at the project sites.
The health, safety and wellbeing of workers are top priorities for QPEC – and it considers the induction process as critical to achieving its objectives. QPEC provides all new hires with a comprehensive overview of the company, each individual’s scope of work, safety standards and relevant legislation. To support new hires, QPEC has created audio files containing all the essential information in Hindi – the main employee language – and plays them on the buses shuttling workers between accommodation and construction sites.
This novel approach was recently praised by Impactt, the SC’s external monitor, during one of its quarterly audits in Qatar.
Ritchie Morcilla, HR Manager at QPEC, who also serves as a Workers’ Welfare Officer, is responsible for ensuring staff receive in-depth health and safety training.
“We have regular safety training with certified institutions to help workers identify and eliminate potential risks, especially when working at height. This is a pre-requisite for all SC sites and this training has helped us to reinforce our commitment towards safety,” says the Filipino, who joined QPEC six years ago.
Off the construction site, QPEC understands the importance of a stable workforce. Morcilla said one of the main challenges faced by employees is homesickness.
“Workers often come to me saying they miss their families, especially their kids,” adds Morcilla. “I know how they feel because I have my family back home in the Philippines. I miss them too, but it’s a sacrifice we have to make to earn a better salary and get on in life.”
To combat this, QPEC has created a community with a family atmosphere among its workforce, with events like a fun run – where workers are given T-shirts and running shoes – a cricket tournament, blood donation drive and an annual staff dinner.
QPEC provides an annual flight ticket allowance and gives employees a 30% pay rise after they complete a year of service. The company has also adopted the SC’s Universal Reimbursement Scheme and is now reimbursing all of its workers QAR 3,500 in monthly instalments to cover any illegal recruitment fees they may have paid prior to moving to Qatar.
“We learnt a lot about ethical recruitment upon getting involved with Qatar 2022 projects. We realised we had gaps to fill. We are committed to working only with registered recruitment agencies now, to ensure workers are not paying any kind of fees. It’s the employers’ responsibility to shoulder these payments,” says Morcilla.
The HR Manager concludes by saying that despite the challenges along the way, QPEC is hugely proud of the progress they’ve made on workers’ welfare since joining the SC programme, and to be playing a part in building Qatar’s World Cup stadiums.