UAE mid-day break comes to an end


The mid-day break, which restricted labourers across construction sites from work during afternoon hours, has ended on Thursday.

Implemented by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, the ruling came into force on June 15 and continued for 92 days, banning work under the sun or in uncovered areas from 12:30 pm to 3:00 pm daily.

The ministry says it conducted over 55,000 inspections over the three months, with compliance reaching 99 per cent.

The break, now in its 18th consecutive year, involved a series of controls, procedures, awareness programmes and events, organised in cooperation with partners from the private sector.

Members of the public could report violations through MoHRE’s call centre and its application.

Some professions and jobs were exempted for technical reasons, which required work to continue uninterrupted. These included work such as spreading the asphalt mixture or pouring concrete or other work necessary to ward off danger, repair damage, malfunctions or accidental emergency losses, including work to repair obstructions in water supply lines, sewage lines and gas or oil pipelines.

It also excluded wor whose implementation required a permit from a relevant government entity because of their impact on the flow of traffic and services, which required it to be carried out around the clock, such as in the case of traffic diversions or the cutting off of electricity and telecom lines.

In the event that work had to continue without interruption, the employer had to provide cold drinking water to workers on duty, and maintain the conditions of safety and public health by providing hydrating food and liquids, such as salt and lemon, or other foods approved by the local authorities. Companies were also directed to provide umbrellas, first-aid kits, appropriate cooling facilities and shaded places for workers during their rest time.

Employers were required to post the schedule of daily working hours in a visible place in languages that the labourers understood in addition to Arabic.

Administrative fines in case of a violation amounted to AED 5,000 for each labourer and a maximum of AED 50,000 for multiple labourers.

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