Dubai launches star-rating programme for worker welfare

High-rated companies in Taqdeer initiative will receive priority in government projects

PHOTO: The award programme will help increase awareness among workers about their rights. Image for illustrative purposes only. Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai has launched a points-based award programme for the construction sector to recognise best practices in labour welfare, state news agency WAM reported.

The initiative, titled Taqdeer, was launched by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council.

Winners of 5 and 4-star ratings will receive priority in government projects, and will be honoured at an award ceremony to be held next year. Additionally, these top ratings will give companies a competitive advantage in bidding for international contracts, WAM said.

The award programme is focused on the construction sector in its first year, and companies can participate by submitting a comprehensive submission document, which will be evaluated by a judging committee. Based on the number of points received in the evaluation, companies are awarded a rating ranging from one to five stars. The programme is open to Dubai-based construction firms that employ manual workers.

“Our country continues to enhance its legal framework for protecting labour rights and enhancing their quality of life,” Sheikh Hamdan said.

“The extensive evaluation framework of the award will encourage companies to aspire to high standards in their management of labour. We are confident that the Award will help set new benchmarks for good labour practices across sectors and throughout the region.”

In addition to raising the quality of labour practices, the award programme will also help increase awareness among workers about their rights, said Major General Obaid Mohair bin Surour, chairman of the Permanent Committee of Labour Affairs and deputy director of the General Directorate for Residency and Foreigners Affairs.

Construction firms involved in civil, electrical and mechanical work that have been operating for at least two years and have executed a minimum of two projects in the last two years are eligible for applying to the Taqdeer Award. In the first year, only companies involved in the construction of buildings, roads, bridges, tunnels, plumbing installation and power generation plants are eligible to apply.

Companies will be evaluated against three main sets of criteria: essential fundamentals; culture and work environment; and results. Sub-criteria under the first category include labour policies, facilities and infrastructure, health and safety, and recruitment and wages. Meanwhile, the culture and work environment category covers justice and transparency, labour relations, communication and feedback, among others. The third main criteria of results covers labour perceptions and key performance indicators.

While focused on the construction sector in its first year, future editions of the award will include factories in free zones, where over half a million workers are employed.

The award programme is based on a comprehensive points system, where companies are given a score out of 1,000, Major General Bin Surour said.

The highest rating of 5 stars is awarded to companies that obtain 700 points or more. Companies that obtain over 550 points receive a 4-star rating while companies with over 450 points get a 3-star rating. A 2-star rating is awarded to companies with over 300 points while the lowest rating of 1-star is awarded to companies with less than 200 points.

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