Worker camps and housing facilities should have a written management plan, including management policies or plan on security, living conditions, workers’ rights and representation, relationships with the communities and grievance processes. Part of those policies and plans can take the form of codes of conduct. The quality of the staff managing and maintaining the accommodation facilities will have a decisive impact on the level of standards which are implemented and the well-being of workers. The manager will be responsible for overseeing staff, for ensuring the implementation of the accommodation standards and for the implementation of the management plans.
Workers in dorm in Saudi Arabia
Freedoms and human rights of workers should be recognized and respected within their living quarters just as within the working environment. House rules and regulations should be reasonable and non-discriminatory. It is best practice that workers’ representatives are consulted about those rules. House rules and regulations should not prevent workers from exercising their basic rights. In particular, workers’ freedom of movement needs to be preserved if they are not to become effectively “trapped”. Any restriction to this freedom of movement should be limited and duly justified. Penalties for breaking the rules should be proportional and implemented through a proper procedure allowing workers to defend themselves and to challenge the decision taken. Best practice might include a code of conduct relating to the accommodation to be signed together with the contract of employment:
- Restriction of workers’ freedom of movement to and from the site is limited and duly justified. It is good practice to provide workers 24/7 access to the accommodation site. Any restrictions based on security reasons should be balanced by the necessity to respect workers’ freedom of movement.
- Where possible, an adequate transport system to surrounding communities is provided. It is good practice to provide workers with free transportation to and from local communities.
- Withholding workers’ ID paper is prohibited.
- Freedom of association is expressly respected. Provision restricting workers’ rights on site should take into account the direct and indirect effect on workers’ freedom of association. It is best practice to provide trade union representative’s access to workers in the accommodation site.
- Workers’ gender and religious, cultural and social backgrounds are respected. In particular, workers should be provided with the possibility of celebrating religious holidays and observances.
- Workers are made aware of their rights and obligation and are provided with a copy of the internal workers’ accommodation rules, procedures and sanction mechanisms in a language or through a media which they understand.
- Housing regulations, including those relating to allocation of housing, should be non-discriminatory. Any justifiable discriminatory rules- for example all –male dormitories – should be strictly limited to the rules which are necessary to ensure the smooth running of the worker camp and to maintain a good relationship with the surrounding communities.
- Where possible, visitor access should be allowed.
- Decisions should be made on whether to prohibit alcohol, tobacco and third party access or not from the camp and the relevant rules should be clearly communicated to all residents and workers.
- A fair and non-discriminatory procedure exists to implement disciplinary procedures including the right of workers to defend them.