UAE’s midday work ban that came into effect June 15, has ended on September 15 for this year.
The law was implemented for the 19th year in a row.
The ban that barred workers from working in open spaces or under direct sunlight from 12.30pm to 3pm daily has come to an end.
Workers will now resume with their normal working hours, similar to that before the peak summer period.
What is the midday break?
The ban came after the The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) announced that working hours should not exceed eight hours during the months of the ban. In the case of an employee working more than eight hours a day, the additional time period would be considered overtime and the employee would be given compensation.
Additionally, employers were required to provided a shaded area for the workers to rest during the period of their break.
The move comes every year keeping in mind workers’ well-being and safety. This initiative protects them from sun exposure, heat exhaustion, and sunstroke, among other health risks during extreme heat.
Fines and exceptions
A fine of Dh5,000 was set for each worker to be imposed on non-compliant employers. The maximum fine amount was Dh50,000 when multiple workers were made to work during the banned hours.
There were exemptions of some jobs, in which case employers were required to provide sufficient cold drinking water for workers. Additionally, they had to provide hydrating food, such as salts and/or other food items approved by local UAE authorities.
For safety measures, the provision of first-aid at the work site was mandatory, along with adequate industrial cooling, and umbrellas.
The ministry has conducted more than 67,000 inspection visits to establishments from June 15 to August 17. It had also called for community involvement by asking residents and workers themselves to report any violations to the authority.
MoHRE said only 59 violations, with a total of 130 workers involved had been caught during this year’s midday break initiative.
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