By Staff writer
Violations by construction companies will be penalised with fines, suspension of licences, says ministry
The UAE's Ministry of Labour on Sunday announced that the midday break for labourers - prohibiting them from working under direct sunlight between 12.30-3pm - will begin on June 15.
The annual campaign, which aims to protect labourers working in the hottest temperatures of the year, will run until September 15, news agency WAM reported.
Statistics show compliance with the midday break rule across the UAE last year reached 95.5 percent.
Violating companies face fines of up to AED50,000 and could have their licences suspended.
Saqr Ghobash, Minister of Labour, said that the working hours during the period - divided into two morning and night shifts - should total eight hours, with overtime payment for any additional work.
This is the 11th consecutive year that the campaign has been run in the UAE.
Maher Al Obed, Assistant Undersecretary for the Inspectional Affairs at the Ministry, said: "This is considered one of the most prominent and important preventive measures to protect workers from the risk of working under direct sunlight in extreme high temperatures."
He said that the ministry has formed 18 squads to monitor compliance across the nation during the midday break period, and will also distribute awareness leaflets to both employers and labourers to promote awareness.
"We seek to launch over 60,000 inspectional visits, and 20,000 visits aimed only at spreading the message. These will start on Monday (June 1) across the country and thousands of flyers in 10 different languages will be distributed," he said.
He said violators will be fined AED5,000 per worker found working during the break, and up to AED50,000 if the issue involved a number of workers.
"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," he said.
Employers are also required to provide first aid kits in the workplace and means of appropriate cooling systems and umbrellas to protect from direct sunlight.
"During Ramadan, our teams will still go around and inspect working sites during the midday break, as the timings during the Holy Month will stay the same and will not be changed," Al Obed added.
Employers are also required to provide first aid kits in the workplace and means of appropriate cooling systems and protecting umbrellas from direct sunlight.
How about interior fit-out companies whose works are all inside the buildings doing decor works provide with air conditions at site. Are they included in mid-day break?