UAE announces midday break timings for outdoor workers
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UAE announces midday break timings for outdoor workers in summer

UAE announces midday break timings for outdoor workers in summer

The midday break regulations start June 15 and will stay in place for a period of three months

Gulf Business
midday break for outdoor workers comes into place June 15

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) announced a halt on working in open spaces and under direct sunlight from 12:30pm to 3:00pm every day starting June 15.

This midday break for outdoor workers will stay in place for a period of three months until September 15, 2023.

MoHRE said the midday break is in line with Ministerial Resolution No. (44) of 2022 on Occupational Health and Safety and Labour Accommodation, which aims to provide an adequate work environment that protects workers from occupational hazards and prevents work-related injuries or illnesses.

Mohsen Al Nassi, assistant-under-secretary for Inspection Affairs at MoHRE, said, “The health and safety of workers is the cornerstone of labour market legislation, and the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation is committed to creating the necessary conditions to ensure a safe work environment for them.”

He added, “The midday work break, which is being implemented for the 19th year in a row, is in line with the highest professional and humane standards designed to protect workers from potential risk of injury resulting from high temperatures during the summer, especially at noon.”

The midday break rule

Daily working hours, in the morning and evening shifts, shall not exceed eight hours during the months of the ban.

If an employee is made to work more than eight hours in a 24-hour period, the additional hours will be considered overtime and the employee would be entitled to additional pay, based on the Regulation of Employment Relationship Law.

Employers are required to provide a shaded area where workers can rest during the midday break.

A fine of Dhs5,000 for each worker will be imposed on employers found to be in non-compliance of the provisions and regulation of the ban.

A maximum fine of Dhs50,000 in the case that multiple workers are working in violation of the ban will be applied.

Midday break exemptions

The guidelines include exception for necessary work that needs to continue uninterrupted, and they are exempted from implementing the midday work ban for technical reasons. These include laying asphalt or pouring concrete, in the event where it is unfeasible to postpone these tasks until after the break.

Exceptions also include workers who are deployed to contain hazards or repair damages that affect the community, such as interruptions to water supply or electricity, cutting off traffic, and other major issues.

The exemption also includes works that require a permit from a relevant government authority to be implemented, given their impact on the flow of traffic and services. These tasks require non-stop work, including cutting or diverting main traffic routes, power lines, and communications.

In the case of exempted jobs, the employer is required to provide sufficient cold drinking water for workers. Public health and safety requirements should be maintained by providing hydrating food, such as salts and/or other food items approved for use by the local authorities in the UAE. They must also provide first aid at the work site, adequate industrial cooling, umbrellas that protect from direct sunlight, and shaded areas for workers to rest during their downtime.

Report a violation

MoHRE said community members can report violations of the midday work ban through its call centre at 600590000, which answers calls 24/7 and in 20 languages, including three main languages, through an automated call system.

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