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    Worker welfare

    Ensuring the highest standards for our workforce

    At Expo 2020 Dubai we work together with our partners and UAE federal entities to advance worker welfare standards. We are committed to the health, safety, welfare and dignity of all workers, and we continually review the policies, procedures and standards that were put in place from the start of Expo 2020. We do this by regularly monitoring these standards through frequent inspections of the working and living conditions of those helping to build Expo 2020. Throughout procurement, construction, event time operations and legacy, we are monitoring, supporting and influencing companies working with us to ensure our standards are embedded and met in all operations. This includes close coordination and review with UAE Federal and Dubai government bodies.

    Worker welfare is a social responsibility and embedded in our objective to deliver a sustainable Expo that contributes to a meaningful legacy for the region. Hosting a World Expo for the first time in the Arab world represents a unique opportunity for key stakeholders to collaborate and contribute to a positive impact on the welfare of workers.

    We require all organisations supporting the delivery of Expo 2020 Dubai, including third party developers, contractors and partners, to share our commitment, and our standards are bound into every Expo 2020 contract.

    Organisations working with us must demonstrate effective leadership on worker welfare and allocate sufficient resources to ensure that employment conditions throughout their supply chain meet our requirements. We hold regular forums and training sessions to support adoption and continual improvement.

    We work with external specialists to continually review our assurance standards to make sure we are always striving for best practice.

    Throughout construction, event operations and repurposing of the site for legacy, we are proactively supporting and influencing organisations to maintain our standards through 10 principles of this policy.

    Our worker welfare policy is applicable to all organisations working to deliver Expo 2020 Dubai. Employers must:

    • Ensure fair and free recruitment
    • Ensure that employees understand the terms and conditions of their employment
    • Treat employees equally and without discrimination
    • Protect and preserve the dignity of employees and not tolerate harassment or abuse of any kind
    • Respect the right of employees to retain their personal documents
    • Pay employees’ wages and benefits on time and in full
    • Allow employees freedom to exercise their legal rights without fear of reprisal
    • Provide a safe and healthy working environment
    • Provide access to grievance mechanisms and remediation
    • Ensure that bonded, indentured, forced, or child labour is not used

    Expo 2020 Dubai’s Worker Welfare Policy can be found here

    Our HSQE policy is applicable to all organisations working to deliver Expo 2020 Dubai.

    During peak construction, we anticipate there will be approximately 40,000 construction workers on the Expo 2020 Dubai site, on more than 100 projects. Ensuring the health, safety, welfare and dignity of our workers is a top priority for Expo 2020 Dubai and our delivery partners.

    We are working together to achieve exemplary performance in health, safety, quality and environment, and our vision, ‘Better Together’, is founded on the three core values of Care, Respect and Pride:

    We care for others, and for ourselves, ensuring we go home in a safe and healthy condition every day. We take worker health and wellbeing just as seriously as occupational safety.

    We respect the environment and promote sustainable practices. We look for opportunities for our work to have a positive impact on the environment.

    We take pride in the work that we do and strive for excellence in quality. We focus on getting it right first time, reducing defects and the need for rework.

    Expo 2020 Dubai’s HSQE Policy is implemented through a risk-based approach which delivers focussed assurance activities, ensures compliance with legal requirements and strives for global best practice. Six pillars form its foundation:

    We encourage active involvement in our leadership forums which put the spotlight on worker welfare at the very top of the construction industry. They include C-suite representatives from each of Expo 2020 Dubai’s main contractors, plus third-party developers and government entities. We also host forums involving managers and executives from all of Expo 2020 Dubai’s contractors, providing a platform to share experiences and knowledge for continual improvement.

    Our worker induction programme raises awareness of our standards during training sessions in the participant’s native language covering topics such as recruitment, passports, nutrition, and health and safety with additional posters reinforcing key messaging.

    Adopting a transparent approach to communication, our contractors organise monthly worker welfare committees, where representatives of workers and sub-contractors gather in a forum and openly discuss issues. Management is obliged to report back on how issues have been addressed.

    Expo 2020 Dubai recognises that to ensure worker welfare and safety standards, it must shape attitudes and behaviours to develop a positive culture where workers’ safety and dignity are paramount. To this effect, a rigorous prequalification process is conducted to set and assess competency levels against defined standards before contracts are awarded.

    This includes inspection and audit of accommodation and employment practices, including no recruitment fees, workers having direct access to their passports and grievance mechanisms to safely report any concerns.

    Within the first three months of the contractor being on site, a detailed audit of books and records, accommodation and modes of transportation is conducted. Any non-compliance is raised with the contractor and addressed. Training programmes are delivered to enhance competence.

    We work with our monitoring partners to regularly audit working, employment and accommodation conditions throughout the duration of each project and have also signed an MOU with the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation to promote cooperation on inspection, health and occupational safety.

    We develop relationships with stakeholders to create a partnership approach for robust oversight of our worker welfare and health and safety policies and processes. In September 2017, Expo 2020 Dubai appointed the UK Health and Safety Executive as an independent third party advisor and in 2018, a sub-committee to the UAE Government Human Rights Committee was established to ensure nation-wide endorsement of these policies. Chaired by Dubai Police, membership includes, Dubai Civil Defence, Dubai Municipality, Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation and Expo 2020 Dubai.

    Reward & Recognition
    We reward behaviours which exemplify our values of Care, Respect and Pride in monthly awards for individuals and companies. Our annual cricket match for workers, which takes place on an international cricket pitch, drew participation from 4,000 people in 2017 and will expand to 15,000 workers in the 2018 edition.

    Continual Improvement
    We maintain a comprehensive and effective management system to monitor standards through frequent and regular inspections of the working and living conditions of those helping to build Expo 2020 Dubai. Our worker welfare league table, which encourages contractors to monitor and maintain their standards, continuously sets new benchmarks and accelerates improvement.