Compulsory Midday Break for UAE Outdoor Workers

Violators threatened with heavy fines and temporary suspension
ByNatasha FaruqueWednesday , 04 June 2014
Compulsory Midday Break for UAE Outdoor Workers
New directive protects workers from harsh mid-day sun

The Ministry of Labour has announced a mandatory three-month mid-day break, from 12:30pm-3pm, for outdoor workers toiling under direct sunlight, across the UAE, from 15 Jun-15 Sept.

The Ministry warned companies that violating this law could lead to suspension of work and stiff fines of up to Dhs15,000. Business owners were also urged to provide workers shaded areas during breaks, and stop work completely during the mandated times. Only certain tasks like work on mixed asphalt, poured concrete and emergency work on power lines, water supply, sewerage, electricity, re-directing traffic and cut gas and petroleum pipelines were exempt from this due to their technical or exceptional nature.

“The midday work ban has entered its tenth year now, confirming the ministry’s commitment to human and labour rights by ensuring they work in a suitable and safe environment. This is considered one of the most prominent and important initiatives, which handle preventive measures to protect workers from the risks of working under direct sunlight in extreme high temperatures,” said Mubarak Saeed Al Daheri, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Labour.

Companies can expect random inspections with 18 teams of specialized inspectors appointed to work exclusively on this issue.

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