Big contractors find new way to bypass midday break rule

DUBAI — In a brazen violation of the country's labour law and the mandatory mid-day break facility for workers, several companies listed in group ‘A’ have been detected sub-contracting smaller ‘C’ category companies to circumvent the law.

By A Staff Reporter

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Published: Tue 8 Aug 2006, 10:32 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 6:06 PM

In three such cases, exposed recently by alert Ministry of Labour (MoL) officials, the ministry has already taken penal action against the defaulters. Interestingly, in all three cases it was found that the major ‘parent’ company had signed sub-contracts with companies with no workers on their rolls, a clear evidence of their deliberate intent to circumvent the law.

MoL inspectors discovered recently that a number of Dubai contracting companies listed in-group ‘A’ resorted to this subterfuge, in a bid to ensure that they avoid paying higher fees and fines even if caught violating the mid-day break rule. Even better, they conveniently avoid being demoted to a ‘C’ category company — which will adversely affect their ability to hire workers and carry out major projects effectively.

The mandatory mid-day break rule for workers, it may be recalled, is enforced every year during the peak July and August summer months to provide relief to labourers and workers toiling in the blistering heat. The country’s labour minister has made it clear that no violations of this rule would be tolerated by the authorities concerned and also that strict action would be taken against all defaulters.

However some Dubai contracting companies listed in group ‘A’, despite the government’s warning, chose to sign sub-contracts with smaller companies in category ‘C’. This modus operandi, a deliberate circumvention of the law, was calculated to avoid the heavier penalties which would have been imposed on an ‘A’ category company, if detected violating the mid-day break rule.

According to an official source at the Ministry of Labour, one factor which tempts bigger ‘A’ category companies to indulge in such illegal activities is their requirement of a larger workforce for bigger, time-bound, projects where they prefer not to implement the mid-day break rule.

The parent company, as such, opts for paying a Dh10,000 fine imposed on the smaller ‘C’ listed company, whose labourers continue to work for the major ‘parent’ company — even during the stipulated mid-day break.

More news from