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Midday break from June 15

Staff Reporter / 30 May 2012

This year’s midday break rule for labourers will come into effect from June 15, the Ministry of Labour announced on Tuesday.

The rule bans companies from making the labourers work under the sun and in open areas from 12.30pm to 3pm until September 15. A decree to this end was issued by Saqr Ghobash Saeed Ghobash, Minister of Labour, fixing the working hours during the summer season for the eighth year consecutively. The midday break rule, which was effective for two months in the earlier years, had been extended to three months in the last two years.

Those who employ workers should provide them a sheltered place for rest during the break, the decree said. Daily working hours should be eight, and in case a labourer works more than that on a day, the extra time will be considered overtime and the worker will get paid extra wage as per the provisions of the federal law No 8 of 1980 on regularising work and amended laws, the decision said.

Workers taking rest at a construction site in Dubai during the midday break last year. — KT file photo

The decree made it mandatory on employers to display the schedule of the daily working hours in Arabic at the work place to make it easy for the ministry inspectors view it when they conduct inspections. The schedule should also be written in a language understood by the workers.

However, the decree excluded works, which for technical reasons are impossible to be stopped during the break time. The list of such works will be provided by the Undersecretary at the Ministry of Labour, Mubarak Al Dhahiri.

The employer should provide cold drinking water and juices to the labourers and should adhere to the safety and public health rules and regulations. First aid kits and cooling facilities should also be provided at the worksite, the decree said.

Companies those are found violating the rules will be slapped with a fine of Dh15,000 each time they are caught. In the event of violation, the inspectors will submit a report to the ministry, including the details of the violation and the number of workers who were asked to work during the break time, in order to re-classify the establishment.

Mubarak Al Dhahiri said: “Enforcement of the decision for the eighth year stems from the keenness of the UAE Government in creating a safe working environment for the labourers.

“The ministry will make all arrangements to monitor the implementation of the rule, and to make the employers and employees aware of the importance of it,” he noted. He, however, expressed confidence that the employers will adhere to the decision as the past years had seen a high rate of commitment to the rule. It provides rest for the workers and protects them from heat-related diseases, which increases their productivity and automatically reflect on the interests of employers, he added.


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