The UAE announces a reduction in working hours starting June 15 for these workers

zahraa ahmed - | Arab News

From the beginning of the "midday break, from June 15 until September 15," the Ministry of Human Resources and Emirates (MoHRE) informed companies and employers running in the UAE.

New rest hours while working

The necessary new work schedule for the midday break forbids working under direct sunlight and in open-air spaces between 12:30pm and 3:00pm, for the designated period.

Protect outdoor workers during the summer months

Now carried out for the 20th year running, the break seeks to safeguard outdoor workers during the hottest summer months, claimed MoHRE.

A framework for a safe work environment

"The legislation creates a framework for a safe working environment that adheres to best practices and standards of occupational health and safety, protecting workers against injuries that may result from working in high temperatures during the summer," MoHRE said in its statement.

Midday break application

Given its importance in guaranteeing the health and safety of workers, whom we regard as the most valuable resource of any company, implementing the Midday Break has become a deeply ingrained culture in the business community and among private-sector companies in the UAE, said Mohsin Al Nassi, assistant undersecretary for Inspection Affairs at MoHRE.

Enhancing the leadership and competitiveness of the UAE labor market

"We look forward to continuous cooperation among the Ministry, private-sector companies, and community members to achieve our shared goals, enhance the leadership and competitiveness of the UAE labor market, and boost its efficiency, productivity, and attractiveness to local and international talent, all while improving workers's well-being."

Employers must provide umbrellas

Employers must provide parasols and shaded spaces shielding employees from direct sunlight during the noon break or while engaged in exempt employment.

Cooling devices are required in work areas

Along with other facilities and first aid tools on the job sites, they must also make sure these work areas have enough cooling devices such fans, enough drinking water, hydrating materials such salts and/or other food items approved for use by the local authorities.

Daily working hours cannot be increased

During the months of the restriction, daily working hours, in the morning and evening shifts, cannot run more than eight hours.

Law regulating labor relations

Based on the Regulation of Employment Relationship Law, extra hours worked by an employee above eight hours in a 24-hour period will be regarded as overtime and the employee would be entitled to extra pay.

Noon break

The noon break considers the importance of preserving continuity in some operations influencing society at large.

Excludes some jobs that require continuous work

The applicability of the ruling excludes some jobs requiring the continuous work without interruption for technical reasons. Should it be impossible to postpone these chores until after the break, they include installing asphalt or pouring concrete.

Exceptions include business continuity required to limit hazards or repair harm impacting the community, like interruptions to transportation, water or electricity supply, and other severe difficulties connected to essential services.

Works whose impact on traffic and services calls for a permission from a government authority are also exempt under this rule.

Follow up on compliance with the noon break period through inspection tours

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation said that it will track compliance with the noon break by means of inspection tours and reports received from community members regarding ban violations via its call centre at 600590000, its website, or the ministry's application accessible on the Android and iOS systems.

Companies discovered breaking the rule pay fines of 5,000 dirhams for each employee working during the midday break and a maximum of 50,000 dirhams for several workers.

The Ministry also said that in collaboration with its partners, it intends to start awareness campaigns and carry field visits to working locations to inform workers and companies about the need of following the midday holiday throughout its implementation phase.

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zahraa ahmed
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