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UAE midday break rule starting June 15: Guide


The UAE’s annual midday break rule returns from June 15 to September 15, according to the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation in a recent announcement.

The rule bans companies from assigning workers at project and construction sites to work outdoor during the midday. This means that employees who work outdoors must not do so from between 12:30pm until 3pm within the 3-month period.

“The regulations aim to provide a safe working environment for labourers and spare them the risks of exposure to high temperatures during the summer months,” said Mohsen Al Nassi, Acting Assistant Under-Secretary for Inspection Affairs at MoHRE. This is the 18th year that the rule has been enforced in the UAE.

Exemptions to UAE midday break rule

Exempted from the work ban are jobs that, for technical reasons, require work to continue uninterrupted. These include project works 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 obstruction in water supply lines, sewage lines, electric lines, or obstruction of traffic on public roads, and gas or oil pipelines.

It also excludes works whose implementation requires a permit from a competent government agency due to their impact on the flow of traffic and services, such as cutting off electricity and telecom lines.

In the event of works or tasks that for technical reasons should continue without interruption during the afternoon hours, the employer shall provide cold drinking water commensurate with the number of workers on duty, and the conditions of safety and public health should be maintained by providing hydrating food and liquid such as salt, lemon and other materials that are approved for use by the local authorities in the country.

Companies must keep provisions for first-aid at the work site, appropriate industrial cooling facilities and shades from direct sunlight, and providing a shaded place for workers to rest during their downtime.

Employers are also required to post the schedule of daily working hours in a prominent place, in accordance with the provisions of the midday break, provided that it is in a language that workers can understand in addition to Arabic.

Violators will be fined Dh5,000 for each worker and a maximum of Dh50,000 in the case that multiple workers are working in violation of the midday break.

How to report UAE midday rule break violators

Employees can report companies that do not follow the midday break rule by calling 600590000. The hotline is open from Monday to Saturday, 8am to 8pm. ICA/Expat Media

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