InterContinental Hotels Group Response

InterContinental Hotels Group Response to Equidem

9 November 2020 

Thank you for your emails dated 2 November 2020, requesting information with respect to the pay conditions of migrant workers at the Crowne Plaza Doha – The Business Park and the InterContinental Doha. We were also grateful for the opportunity to discuss these important issues with you during our videoconference on 5 November. 

As you are aware, the global Covid-19 pandemic has created unprecedented circumstances for the hospitality industry. Travel around the world has paused for most people, which has led to a number of IHG-branded hotels closing temporarily or significantly reducing operations. This includes the Crowne Plaza Doha – The Business Park and the InterContinental Doha, which have experienced significant drops in business and the closure of most of their facilities during the crisis. 

We would like to reassure you that, irrespective of the commercial impact of the pandemic, IHG remains committed to respecting human rights and responsible business practices throughout our operations. We recognise that migrant workers may be increasingly vulnerable in the current environment and this continues to be an important area of focus for us. Our work includes ensuring that we have appropriate policies and processes in place and providing hotels with tools and resources to help navigate identified risks. Specifically within Qatar, IHG and our hotels have been participating in a project coordinated by the International Labour Organisation, which has led to the recent launch of a new guidance tool to support fair recruitment and employment standards in the Qatar hospitality sector. 

IHG also has a confidential reporting process in place which encourages colleagues to report any ethical concerns or breaches of the IHG Code of Conduct, including in relation to human rights. Whilst we hope that colleagues feel able to report any concerns directly to management, we also offer a confidential third-party reporting channel, which is available to all our hotels and corporate colleagues and can be used by any person with a relationship to IHG, including our third-party suppliers. 

With respect to the points set out in your emails, we can confirm the following for the Crowne Plaza Doha – The Business Park and the InterContinental Doha: 

  • Due to a significant drop in business and reduced operations, a number of employees have unfortunately had to be made redundant. All redundancies have been undertaken in accordance with Qatari labour law. 
  • Those employees who were made redundant have been allowed to remain in staff living accommodation with free food and medical assistance until they find new employment and/or decide to return to their home countries. 
  • Assistance has been provided to former employees to find new employment in Qatar. Where former employees have decided to return home, the hotel has funded the cost of repatriation. 
  • In order to preserve as many jobs as possible, a number of employees entered into unpaid leave agreements for limited periods of time, proportionate to departmental business needs. 
  • Employees’ pay continued proportionate to the hours worked, including any applicable overtime and full benefits (including accommodation, meals and medical assistance) continued to be provided. 
  • Employees who could not work in their normal roles during this period due to the impact of the crisis and for whom alternative hotel work could not be found, were paid reduced salaries for limited periods of time. These salaries were considered sufficient to support living costs and full benefits (including accommodation, meals and medical assistance) continued to be provided. 
  • All unpaid leave/reduced salary agreements have now ended and therefore all employees are now subject to their normal working agreements. 

We hope this information is helpful, and we thank you again for bringing these concerns to our attention.