Five-star Kempinski hotel in Qatar at the centre of forced labour controversy
The UK publication details accounts of 19 hotel staff who describe their working conditions and annual wages
Migrant workers employed at Qatar’s five-star Marsa Malaz Kempinski hotel are working in breach of labour laws and earning salaries below the minimum wage, an investigation by The Guardian has revealed.
The UK publication details accounts of 19 hotel staff who describe their harsh working conditions and meagre annual wages. Qatar has in the past been at the centre of migrant worker labour controversy.
Most of the staff at the Kempinski hotel in Doha are employed through sub-contractors rather than directly by the hotel, the report notes. These allegations come a year after Qatar implemented the minimum wage law and ruled that employers will not be able to stop employees from leaving Qatar as they did in the past under the "kafala" sponsorship scheme.
The Kempinski property has a total of 281 rooms, including 69 suites, is located on The Pearl, a major man-made island project featuring residential and commercial elements, in Doha. The number of hotel rooms in Qatar grew by 81% between 2014 and 2018, to over 25,000.
The report also highlights that many of the workers at the hotel are in debt after paying recruitment firms fees of thousands of dollars to secure a job in Qatar. The Guardian reports there are an estimated 1.5 to 2 million migrant workers in Qatar, many of whom work in the construction industry and come from Asian countries.
Kempinski said in statement: "Marsa Malaz Kempinski, The Pearl takes the allegations very seriously. We are committed to abiding by the highest ethical standards as an international luxury hotel operator. Equally, we expect all subcontracting companies to abide by these same standards. Due to the severity of these allegations, we have launched an investigation and will take appropriate remedial action as required."