ILO workshop on Good Labour Inspection Practices in GCC Countries

A workshop to exchange good practices on labour inspection was held in Suhar, Oman from 27 to 29 January 2013.

News | Ginebra, Suiza | 29 January 2013
Twenty-eight representatives (from Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates) presented their national labour inspection systems and discussed how they are tackling traditional and emerging challenges in the world of work.

In many of these countries, labour inspectorates are being reinforced through increases in inspection staff as well as the introduction of information technology systems for planning inspection visits and monitoring labour law compliance. This is the case with the wage protection system used in the United Arab Emirates and recently introduced in Saudi Arabia. Participants reflected on some of the challenges still ahead to better inform employers and workers about their rights and obligations, especially migrant workers, and how to extend protections guaranteed by international labour standards to these workers.

Other good practices emerged such as the call centre established in the United Arab Emirates which provides services in 13 different languages and promotional efforts in economic zones with large numbers of workers to educate employers and workers about the country’s labour law. In Oman, a permanent inspection office at the airport provides information on labour rights and obligations to arriving migrant workers.

Other topics discussed during the workshop included:

- The role of the central labour inspection authority in coordinating regional or local offices and cooperating with other public and private institutions;

- Human resource policy for labour inspection in the areas of recruitment, career development, performance appraisal and training;

- Collaboration with the social partners in the promotion of better working conditions;

- Labour law compliance through private initiatives and their possible complementarity with labour inspection;

- Indicators for the identification of forced labour and the role of labour inspectors in preventing it and assisting victims.