UAE midday work ban rolls out in private sector

Estimated read time 3 min read

Picture for illustrative purposes only. ARCHIVE

Employees in the UAE’s private sector will feel the start of the midday work ban when they return to work from their Eid break on Wednesday (June 19).

The annual midday work ban began on June 15, which coincided with the start of the Eid holidays in the emirate, and will be enforced for three months until September 15.

Under the rule, companies are prohibited from assigning their employees to work under direct sunlight and in open-air spaces every day from 12:30pm to 3pm.

Dr. Abdulrahman Al Awar, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, said the ministry has reviewed the private sector’s preparations for the midday break rule, including shaded rest areas equipped with cooling devices, first aid, cold water and other amenities to protect workers during the summer season.
Companies 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.

Companies that are found violating the rule will be fined Dh5,000 for each worker and a maximum of Dh50,000 in case multiple employees are working in violation of the midday break.

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.

How to report 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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