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Midday work ban nears

Construction workers on building site

Lawbreaking companies to be slapped with AED15,000 fine for each violation.

May 30, 2013 11:51 by

With June 15 swiftly approaching, companies found breaking the now nine-year-old midday work ban for labourers in the UAE will face a hefty fine of AED15,000 for each violation, and have the classification of their firms downgraded.

Every year since 2005, the Ministry of Labour has continued to impose a three-month period (two months prior to 2010) where workers should be allowed a break of two and a half hours – from 12:30pm to 3pm – as a means of particularly protecting outdoor labourers during the peak summer hours when temperatures are at their worst.

The ban will apply between June 15 and September 15, and this rule strictly applies to employees working in open areas such as construction sites.

The law also insists that companies must set up adequately cool and shaded places of rest for their employees during recess or – in the event that work flow must remain uninterrupted for technical reasons, in which case an exemplary clause could apply – provide them with cold water.

As part of the ministerial ruling, daily working hours – be it in the morning or night – should not exceed eight hours, and any employees working additional hours in a continuous period of 24 hours must be paid overtime.

In the past eight years, Kipp is pleased to report that, according to past reports by the ministry – an extremely high percentage of companies and employers adhered to the ban.

Last year, the ministry inspectors conducted a total of 53,990 visits across the UAE and found that 99.79 per cent of them were compliant – yet there were more than 100 firms that turned a deaf ear to the warnings at their own peril. Let’s root for 100 per cent this time around.

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