MoL: Midday break for UAE labourers to start June 15

ABU DHABI: The Labour Ministry, MoL, has said that the midday break in the U.A.E. will be enforced from June 15th for a period of three months, preventing labourers from carrying out any sort of work under direct sunlight between 12:30pm and 3:00pm until September 15th.

The announcement, issued by Saqr Ghobash, Minister of Labour, was made public during a press conference addressed by Mubarak Saeed Al-Dhaheri, Under-Secretary of the Ministry, alongside Maher Al Obed, Assistant Under-Secretary for the Inspection Department.

“The Midday work ban has entered its tenth year now, confirming the Ministry s commitment towards human and labour rights by ensuring them work in a suitable and safe environment. This is considered one of the most prominent and important initiatives which handles preventive measures to protect workers from the risks of working under direct sunlight with extreme high temperatures,” Al-Dhaheri pointed out.

The decision of the Minister of Labour, urges business owners to provide shaded areas for the workers during their break period and to completely cease work. The decision also refers the owners to adapt to eight daily working hours and compensate labourers working overtime according to the provisions of Federal Law No. 08 of 1980.

The Under-Secretary of the Ministry warned that violators will be fined AED15,000, if found forcing labourers, regardless of their profession, working under direct sunlight, “Moreover, if the issue was involving a huge number of workers on the recorded worksite, the company s profile will be sent to the Minister s office, where it might face temporary suspension from operations plus a reduction in its classification level,” he said.

The Minister did note some exceptions that require continuation of work during those periods for technical reasons.

“Businesses excluded from the banned working hours include work on mixed asphalt and poured concrete if it is impossible to implement or supplement the work in one day, or carrying out work to prevent expected danger or reparation or damage or malfunction or loss, and also emergency work, including cutting power lines, water supply, sewerage, electricity and cutting off or redirecting traffic or blocking public roads in addition to cut gas or petroleum pipelines,” Al-Dhaheri said.

Mr. Al Obed said, “We have formed 18 teams of specialised inspectors to follow up on this particular issue, making sure that all companies are following the decision correctly, we will also conduct random visits as part of our awareness campaigns to publicise the decision and its implications and stress its importance.” “There will be around 80,000 visits during the midday break period for the next three months, in which 60,000 visits will be inspectional and 20,000 for the awareness campaign,” he concluded