UAE’s midday work ban to begin from June 15

Firms found flouting the rules will be fined Dhs 5,000 per worker while the penalty will rise to Dhs 50,000 if a large number of labourers are found to be working.



Picture for illustrative purposes only. Getty

The annual mandatory midday work ban for all labourers in the UAE will come into effect from June 15, the Ministry of Labour said in a statement.

The ban, which will last till September 15, will prohibit labourers from carrying out any work under direct sunlight from 12.30pm to 3pm, state news agency WAM reported.

The temperature in the Gulf country can shoot up as high as 50 to 55 degree celcius during the peak summer months, making it impractical to perform outdoor work during midday.

The UAE’s ruling that banned work during peak hours in summer came into effect 11 years ago.

Along with the work ban companies are also required to provide shaded areas for workers to rest during the break and keep them informed of their work schedule.

The working hours during this period will be divided into two shifts with each lasting for eight hours.

The labourers will also have to be compensated if they are working overtime, UAE’s minister of labour Saqr Ghobash said.

The ministry has formed 18 inspection squads during this period to routinely monitor construction sites and gauge their compliance with the rule.

“We seek to launch over 60,000 inspectional visits, and 20,000 visits aimed only at spreading the message,” said Maher Al Obed, assistant undersecretary for the Inspectional Affairs at the ministry.

“These will start on Monday (June 1) across the country and thousands of flyers in 10 different languages will be distributed.”

Companies found flouting the midday work ban will be fined Dhs 5,000 per worker while the fine could be as high as Dhs50,000 if a number of labourers were found to be working during the period.

“The company’s profile will be forwarded by the inspections department to the minister’s office where the minister might consider temporarily stopping the entity plus reducing its classification level,” said Al Obed.

He also noted that compliance with the midday work ban last year was 95.5 per cent.

The midday work ban is excluded in some cases where the work on asphalt poured concrete is ongoing or when there is an emergency, ministry officials said.

But companies are required to provide adequate shade, cold drinking water and other safety materials for the workers during this period.