99.72% compliance with midday break rule

Over 66,000 companies were inspected and only 187 establishments were found to be violating the rule

Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: An estimated 99.72 per cent of companies across the UAE complied with the midday break rule, which started on June 15 and ended on September 15, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiritisation announced today.

Of the 66,302 firms that were inspected, only 187 violations were registered. The rule prohibits working outdoors during the midday break period to ensure the health and safety of workers during the hot summer hours.

“We carried out 66,302 inspection visits, of which 10,040 were in the capital and 7,062 visits in Al Ain, while Dubai saw 13,569 visits. We conducted 7,197 visits in Sharjah, 7,522 visits in Ajman, 7,847 visits in Ras Al Khaimah, 4,275 visits in Umm Al Quwain and 8,790 visits in Fujairah,” said Maher Al Obed, Assistant Undersecretary for Inspectional Affairs.

The ministry also conducted 32,974 educational visits across the nation. These included 5,443 visits in Abu Dhabi, 3,446 in Al Ain, 6,124 in Dubai, 4,470 in Sharjah, 4,010 in Ajman, 2,186 in Umm Al Quwain, 3,876 in Ras Al Khaimah and 3,419 in Fujairah.

Violating companies will be fined Dh5,000 per worker and a maximum of Dh50,000 if the case involves a large number of workers. The company can be degraded and possibly even temporarily stopped from operating.

The ministry stated that daily working hours must not exceed eight hours 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.

It added that employers should put a daily work schedule in Arabic and in other languages on notice boards to ease inspectional observations and for workers to understand.

According to the ministry’s resolution, workers must not work during the banned hours if they work in open places. However, companies working on urgent projects can work during 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 Labour Affairs Assistant Undersecretary, Humaid Bin Deemas, said for 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 cater to the health of workers, including first aid, air-conditioners, sunshades and cold water.