Workers take rest during the midday break near their worksite at Tourist Club area in Abu Dhabi on Thursday. Image Credit: Abdul Rahman/Gulf News

Dubai: An estimated 99.88 per cent of companies across the UAE were found to be complying with the midday break rule between its date of implementation and June 30, the Ministry of Labour reported on Wednesday.

The percentage was determined after inspection teams visited as many as 10,430 firms. Maher Al Obaid, Assistant Undersecretary for Inspectional Affairs, pointed out that only 11 firms violated the law, which is 0.12 per cent.

This is the 11th consecutive year the ministry has imposed a midday break during peak summer hours, protecting workers from the risks of working under direct sunlight. It also mandates employers to post a clear scheduling of the daily working hours during the midday break period and provide shaded areas to labourers during the resting hours.

“Through 18 hard-working inspectional teams, we carried out 1,544 inspectional visits in the capital, 985 visits in Al Ain, 1,983 in Dubai, 1,361 in Sharjah, 1,068 in Ajman, 1,369 in Ras Al Khaimah, 1,381 in Umm Al Quwain and 728 in Fujairah,” Al Obaid said.

Al Obaid said the ministry also promoted awareness by conducting 8,675 educational visits to labour camps and sites across the nation between June 15 and 30. “We also distributed over 10,000 leaflets in ten different languages to reach as many workers as possible.”

He added that Abu Dhabi witnessed around 1,525 labour educational field visits, Al Ain saw 931, and 741 visits took place in Dubai, 538 in Sharjah, 360 in Ajman, 888 in Ras Al Khaimah, 631 in Umm Al Quwain and 330 in Fujairah.

Al Obaid said violators of the rule will be fined Dh5,000 per worker found working during the break, up to an amount not exceeding Dh50,000. “The company’s profile will be forwarded by the inspections department to the minister’s office where the violating company’s classification level will be reduced,” he said.

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 law.

“Workers must be supplied with water, healthy salts and lemon, which is approved for use by health authorities in the country. They must provide first aid kits on site in addition to protective umbrellas,” Al Obaid said.