By Andy Sambidge
Labour Minister says construction firms will be fined AED15,000 for each violation this year
The mandatory midday break for UAE labourers who work in the sun during summer months will begin on June 15, the Ministry of Labour has announced.
Companies will have to give a two-and-a-half hour break from 12.30pm to 3pm to labourers who work in open areas such as construction sites, according to the decision issued by the Minister of Labour, Saqr Ghobash.
The three-month midday break rule will be enforced until September 15, he added in a statement run by news agency WAM.
The ministerial decision also states that daily working hours must not exceed eight hours in the morning or night shifts, and that overtime should be paid to those working additional hours in a 24-hour period.
Labourers must not work at all during the banned hours if they usually work in the open, it added.
Companies who violate the midday summer break will face penalties. Offenders will have the classification of their firms downgraded by the Ministry, and will be fined AED15,000 for each violation.
Last year, a total of 166 companies failed to comply with the UAE's midday summer work rules.
Some 64,944 out of 65,110 companies had complied with the regulations to protect workers from the severe summer heat.