On May the 7th at the St Regis Hotel around 30 attendees, numerous related to human resources gathered at the conference organized by the Spanish Business Council.
On this occasion the speakers were Emma Higham Legal Director of Clyde & Co and Houtan Homayounpour ILO’S head of Project in Qatar office. The conference came to collation after the recent opening of the office of this body in Qatar a week later.
As master of ceremonies we had our president José Vicente who introduced the speakers remembering to the public their professional career.
He also introduced his HI Ambassador Ignacio Escobar how kindly made an introductory presentation.The Ambassador noted how important corporate social policies are for the Spanish government. He recalled the commitment that Spanish companies abroad have with this policy. In this sense, hementioned the good practice of companies such as Sacyr or Eurofinsa.
His Excellency also mentioned the strong problems that have been in the country with the bad practices of certain companies to retain passports or deny the exit permission. Practices that the Ambassador strongly condemned.
Subsequently Mr. Houtan took the floor and opened his presentation highlighting the significance of having opened an office in a Gulf country, important step that does not ensure that the road will be easy.
The ILO’S programme will support the implementation of numerous measures to address passport confiscation, contract substitution, as well as restrictions on migrant workers’ ability to change employer and exit the country.
Among his activities, Mr. Houtan pointed out that the ILO will support migrant workers in submitting complaints to the national mechanisms with a view to ensure speed and fair treatment.
He explained that the Wage Protection System (WPS) will continue to be improved to ensure that workers’ wages are paid on time and that wage arrears are systematically settled. Finally he pointed that as part of its efforts to implement a contractual system to replace the kafala system, the Government of Qatar has expressed its commitment to undertake the renewal of residence permits directly with migrant workers.
Finally, Ms. Emma Higham’s presentation focused on more technical topics, she talked about immigration law versus its practice, about e-government contracts, about the Work Protection System and the Employment termination.
After the presentations the speakers responded kindly to the round of questions that lasted for more than half an hour.