, 12/27/2017 10:00:00 PM - Abu Dhabi, December 27, 2017: Abu Dhabi’s Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC) has published its fifth independent report into Contractors’ and Subcontractors’ compliance with its Employment Practices Policy (EPP), which sets high standards of worker welfare and safety on TDIC projects on Saadiyat Island. TDIC is the master developer of major tourism, leisure and residential destinations in Abu Dhabi.
In 2009, TDIC established the EPP, providing the standards to which all Contractors and Subcontractors working on TDIC projects must adhere regarding workers’ welfare. The EPP, which was enhanced in 2015, complements the UAE Labour Law while committing TDIC to go beyond local regulatory requirements and to reflect international leading standards.
The EPP has become embedded into the day-to-day processes and procedures of Contractors and Subcontractors operating on TDIC projects. Compliance with EPP requirements has been independently monitored by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) since 2011.
PwC interviewed 2,420 randomly selected workers during the 2016 and 2017 monitoring period, representing 39% and 45% of the average monthly worker population on Saadiyat Island during 2016 and 2017. PwC reported its findings monthly directly to TDIC’s Chairman, CEO and Board Audit Committee, allowing TDIC to take immediate remedial action where Contractors and Subcontractors fell short of EPP standards.
The findings recognise where progress has been made while also noting areas of possible improvement, enabling TDIC to maintain high standards for its Contractors and Subcontractors regarding workers’ safety and welfare.
Commenting on the report, Mr. Sufian Hasan Al Marzooqi, CEO of TDIC, said: “Protecting workers’ welfare and rights remains a priority for TDIC. Since 2011, we have worked closely with PwC to ensure that all Contractors and Subcontractors are complying with the EPP’s strict standards and regulations. The findings of the latest report build on the successful progress made in previous years and reflect our active commitment to maintaining high-quality working and living conditions for construction workers employed on TDIC projects in future.”
Key findings of the report include:
100% of the workers received the EPP induction in their respective native language.
100% of foreign workers have valid visas and UAE ID cards.
100% of long-term workers employed on Saadiyat Island projects resided in the high-quality Saadiyat Accommodation Village (SAV) by the end of the monitoring period.
98% of workers on TDIC sites are in possession of medical insurance and have access to on-site medical care.
Effective implementation of actions on accurate payment of wages by the Contractors and Subcontractors including, for example, evidence of workers’ salary payments being submitted on a monthly basis, payslips being provided to workers with details of their salary breakdown, and salaries being paid through the Wage Protection System (WPS). In addition, monthly monitoring has allowed incidents of non–compliance to be quickly identified by TDIC and actioned with Contractors.
PwC also observed that while it found instances of workers paying recruitment and relocation fees in their home countries, TDIC had taken firm measures against violators, imposing financial penalties and requesting that Contractors reimburse the affected workers where appropriate supporting evidence was available. The report noted that the full resolution of the recruitment and relocation cost issue is beyond TDIC’s direct influence and also requires action outside of the UAE.
The majority of workers surveyed originated from five countries: India (43%), Pakistan (25%), Bangladesh (23%), Nepal (3%) and Philippines (1%). While none are employed by TDIC directly, all work for Contractors and Subcontractors involved in the construction of TDIC projects. Contractors were notified by PwC on the same day that interviews would be occurring with workers, ensuring results could not be influenced by the Contractors.
The results of the report will be used by TDIC to address any areas of concern and to upgrade existing measures and procedures to protect the welfare of workers going forward. This forms part of a review process aimed at maintaining the highest standards for workers on all of TDIC’s Saadiyat Island projects.
While PwC’s monitoring continues, TDIC will also use the results of the report to reinforce its own monitoring and enforcement systems to ensure that Contractors employed on its current and future projects continue to adhere to the EPP.
About Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC)
Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), established in 2006 and fully owned by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, is a master developer of major tourism, cultural and residential destinations in Abu Dhabi.
These include Saadiyat, a natural island ten-minute drive from downtown Abu Dhabi featuring luxury resorts, championship beachfront golf courses, sophisticated residential communities, retail destinations and cultural institutions - designed by world-renowned Pritzker Prize-winning architects - such as Zayed National Museum, Louvre Abu Dhabi and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. TDIC is also developing Desert Islands, a heritage-based tourism destination composed of eight islands - Sir Bani Yas Island, the historical Dalma Island and the previously unexplored Discovery Islands.
TDIC has built a strong reputation among international industry players for its compelling value proposition, transparency of business approach and ability to deliver. The company has been awarded a high investment grade rating of AA by top credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s This rating reflects TDIC’s strong financial position and supports the company’s credit worthiness to investors, lenders and other market participants.
By creating investment partnerships and joint ventures, TDIC’s developments are helping to support the Emirate’s evolution into a world-class destination for tourists, businesses and residents. TDIC offers significant employment and vocational training opportunities for Emiratis keen to enhance their careers and professional qualifications.
For further information, please visit http://www.tdic.ae.
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