15 August 2017

Only 143 of the 53,712 companies inspected were found to be flouting the rule

Abu Dhabi: Over 99.7 per cent of companies across the UAE have complied with the midday break rule, which started on June 15 and will end on September 16, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation announced on Tuesday.

Of the 53,712 companies inspected since the beginning of the midday break rule, only 143 were found to be in violation of the law, amounting to a 99.73 per cent compliance, the ministry confirmed. The rule prohibits working outdoors during the midday break period to ensure the health and safety of workers during the hot summer hours.

“Temperatures are unbearable during summer times in the UAE, and workers need the break. We carried out 53,712 inspection visits during the past two months across the UAE, and 9,324 informative visits during the same period,” said Maher Al Obaid, assistant undersecretary for Inspections.

“As many as 13,375 inspection visits were carried out in the capital, Abu Dhabi, 11,022 in Dubai, 5,073 visits in Sharjah, 8,047 visits in Ajman, 5,687 visits in Ras Al Khaimah, 2,728 visits in Umm Al Quwain and 7,780 visits in Fujairah,” Al Obaid added.

Violating companies will be fined Dh5,000 per worker and a maximum of Dh50,000 if the case involves a large number of workers and they could face downgrading of their status.

The ministry stated that daily working hours must not exceed eight in the morning or night shift, and overtime should be paid to those working additional hours as stated by the Federal Law No. 8 of 1980 on Labour Affairs.

The ministry added that employers should put a daily work schedule in Arabic and other languages on noticeboards for workers to understand it easily.

According to the ministry’s resolution, labourers must not work during the banned hours if they work in open places. However, companies working on urgent projects can resume work after the ban timings. “Workers must be supplied with water at all times, as well as minerals which are approved for use by health authorities in the country. They must be provided access to first aid kits on-site in addition to protective umbrellas,” the ministry said.

Humaid Bin Deemas, assistant undersecretary for Labour Affairs, said in exceptional cases, which require work continuation during those periods for technical reasons, the employers must supply workers with salt and lemon, which is approved for use by health authorities in the country. He added that employers must provide all facilities that protect the health of workers, including first aid, air-conditioners, sunshades and cold water.

© Gulf News 2017