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Mon 13 Jul 2009 05:54 PM

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163 firms penalised over midday ban violations

Ministry of Labour ramps up inspections in second week, 90 more fines issued.

The number of companies caught flouting the midday work ban in the UAE has climbed in the second week since the ban took effect from 73 to 90, it was reported on Monday.

The result brings the total number of firms caught violating the ban since it was introduced on July 1 to 163, according to Ministry of Labour (MoL) figures.

In the second week of July, which covered the period July 6th-11th, the number of firms caught in Dubai fell from 18 to 13, bringing the emirates total to 31 violations, while in Abu Dhabi the number was 11 in both weeks, bringing its total to 22, Construction Week Online reported.

The figures indicate a large rise in firms violating the ban outside of the UAE’s two most populous Emirates.

A total of 3,543 inspections have taken place in Dubai, 2,460 of these, or 70 percent, in the second week alone.

There were 2,074 inspections in Abu Dhabi, with 1,108, or roughly half of these, in the second week.

The figures indicate a ramping up of the MoL’s inspections, particularly in Dubai, as the country moves into the mid-summer period and the worst of the heat.

“The visits will be seven days a week,” MoL acting director general Humaid Bin Deemas said. “Last week we did random visits on Saturday and starting from this week there will be visits even on Friday.”

The MoL is employing 60 inspectors this year “to ensure achieving the majority of its aims”.

The midday work ban in the UAE is effective between the hours of 12:30pm and 3:00pm from July 1 through to August 31 inclusive.

Firms caught violating the ban will be fined a total of $2,700 (AED10,000) for each member of staff caught working in the sun.

The MoL also paid a total of 1,088 guidance visits in the second week of July, bringing the total to 1,677.

Guidance visits are intended to educate the labourers and employers about the midday work ban and make sure they understand the importance of implementing the law in order to avoid any penalties.

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