UAE midday work ban to begin this week

Violating companies will be fined Dhs5,000 ($1,361) per worker



image for illustrative purposes

The UAE’s mandatory midday break for those working under the sun during the summer months will begin later this week.

The Standing Committee for Labour Affairs in Dubai said the break for construction workers and other staff would start from June 15 and end on September 15.

During the three-month period, the afternoon break will last from 12:30pm to 3:00pm.

Major general Obaid Muhair Bin Surour, deputy director of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai and chairman of the Standing Committee for Labour Affairs, said inspectors would ensure the ban is enforced.

“The committee will conduct seven patrols. There will be three inspectors in each patrol, representing the labour committee, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation and Dubai Municipality to ensure full enforcement of the midday ban as per regulations in this respect,” he said.

In a further announcement, the Ministry of Human Resources said it would be introducing a smart inspection system to allocate inspectors.

The ministry if targeting 60,000 inspection visits across the country through three teams in Abu Dhabi, two in Al Ain, four in Dubai, two in Sharjah, two in Ajman, two in Ras al-Khaimah, two in Fujairah and one in Umm Al Qaiwain.

Inspectors will visit sites two hours prior to the ban’s start time to secure locations marked by the smart system, which analyses data to prioritise follow-ups.

Violating companies will be fined Dhs5,000 ($1,361) per worker to a maximum of Dhs50,000 ($13,613) in the case of multiple workers.

Maher Al Obed, assistant under secretary of inspection affairs, said he was “completely confident” there would be a high level of compliance with the ban after 13 consecutive years.

In some exceptional cases where continuous work is required employers must provide workers with cold water and other recommended items such as salt and lemon, first aid, air conditioners and sunshades.

Some activities are also excluded from the ban including the mixing of asphalt poured concrete, if it is impossible to do the work in a day, and other jobs to prevent expected danger, reparation, damage, malfunction or loss.

This includes the cutting of power, gas and petroleum lines, maintaining of water supply, sewage issues and the blocking of public roads.

Last week, Saudi Arabia also announced its own midday work ban would begin on June 15, although the decision does not necessarily cover the same country due to differing temperatures.

Read: Saudi midday work ban to begin next week – report