Midday Break for Outdoor Workers In Abu Dhabi Come June 15
Jun 2, 2015
To prevent injuries caused by the scorching sun, UAE Labor Minister Saqr Gobash Saeed Gobash mandated that effective June 15 till September 15, all workers who are working outdoors are entitled to a two-and-a-half hour break from 12.30 pm to 3:00 pm.
The decision issued by the ministry instructs all employers to provide a shaded area for workers in open areas to rest during the midday break. Likewise, employers are expected to provide sufficient precautionary systems to keep workers from work-related harms.
Furthermore, the decision also includes the following directives:
- working hours must not exceed eight hours in the morning or night shift
- overtime should be paid to those working additional hours.
- laborers must not work during midday breaks
- employers must post working hours and shift schedules at every work site, in the workers’ language and in Arabic
On the other hand, there are exemptions to this policy as ordered by Mubarak Al Daheri, undersecretary of the ministry:
- workers on emergency projects may continue to work
- operations which cannot be postponed for technical reasons such as asphalting of roads and laying concrete as well as repairing damage to water pipes, petrol pipes, sewage pipes or the disconnection of electrical lines.
- projects licensed from government departments which could affect the flow of traffic
- works which could affect electrical, water supplies or communications.
To prevent them from heat exhaustion and heatstroke, companies which are exempted from the ban must supply the workers with the following:
- cold drinking water
- salt, lemon, and healthy salads
- first aid at the work site
- industrial and protective umbrellas
- air-conditioners and sunshades
Assistant undersecretary for inspection affairs Maher Al Obad stated that the decision is meant to enhance a health and safety culture. To confirm abidance, the Labour Ministry will conduct 60,000 inspection visits to companies.
Employers who will be caught offending will have the classification of their companies downgraded and will be fined Dh5,000 for each worker, not exceeding Dh50,000.
Should a worker needs to report a complaint to the ministry, they may do so by calling the toll-free telephone number 800-665.