Why do GCC FM companies invest in CSR activities?

Rapid's L&D Business Partner speaks on how Rapid Access works towards the betterment of the company and the community.

GCC countries have resumed their annual midday work break programmes for this year’s hottest months. In May, the UAE’s Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) reinitiated the Midday Break Decree, preventing any sort of work under direct sunlight between 12:30pm and 3pm for a three-month period. Qatar has also implemented a similar work ban, starting 15 June this year and due to run until 31 August. The UAE’s 2016 midday break, which started on 15 June, is to be followed until 16 September.

Violators in the UAE will be fined $1,361 (AED5,000) for each person found working during break hours, and a maximum fine of up to $13,613 (AED50,000) could be levied if the case involves a large number of labourers.

For exceptional cases in the UAE where work cannot be paused due to technical reasons, MOHRE has launched a decree stating that employers must supply workers with all facilities that cater to their health while they are working under the sun.

These include first aid packages, air-conditioners, sunshades, and cold water.

MOHRE’s midday work scheme is aimed at ensuring the health and safety of workers in the UAE. The programme, now in its 12th year, continues to boost the country’s ecosystem of corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities.

Regional government initiatives such as MOHRE’s have also spurred FM service providers towards enhancing and implementing CSR schemes that match the GCC’s cultural and climatic requirements.

“CSR does have impact on repeat business and a company’s supply chain,” Emma Dicken, learning and development business partner at Lavendon Group, tells fmME.

Among Lavendon’s best known brands in the Middle East is Rapid Access, an equipment hire company with operations across the GCC. Rapid Access’s regional operations also comprise training courses for working at heights.

Dicken says implementing a CSR policy “helps in the goodwill of the company, which is good for our overall business”.

She adds: “Employees definitely appreciate that we are involved in community events. We have never had a shortage of volunteers and our employees appreciate the fact that we offer them opportunities to give back to the community.

“Obviously there is a ‘feel good’ element to our CSR work, but ultimately, it is about respecting the community and the environment around us. Working in this way not only helps our company’s brand as a supplier, but also as an employer while recruiting new talent. It has highly impacted our employee motivation, which in turn impacts our productivity.”
Rapid Access’s CSR programme include collaboration activities with local NGO, Volunteer in UAE (VIUAE). The company participated in VIUAE’s Karama Kanteen events last year, and also organised an outing to Dubai water park, Wild Wadi, for 40 children with special needs.

Additionally, the company conducted bake sales to raise money for orphanages in Saudi Arabia, and collected contributions for a Nepal Earthquake Relief fund, and clothes for labour camps affected during the rains in Dubai.

Read the full article here: http://www.constructionweekonline.com/article-39965-why-do-gcc-fm-companies-invest-in-csr-activities/3/