Dubai: The Permanent Committee for Labour Affairs (PCLA) in Dubai has launched an awareness campaign for labourers and companies to ensure they follow the summer midday break rules, an official said on Saturday.
The three-month midday break starts on June 15 and will run until September 16, with workers banned from working outside from 12.30pm to 3pm.
Companies found violating the midday break rule will face hefty fines, with Dh5,000 per worker and a maximum fine of Dh50,000. Other penalties companies can face include temporary shutting down of their operations and a downgrade.
Maj Gen Obaid Muhair Bin Surour, chairman of the PCLA, speaking on the awareness campaign, said booklets in several languages were being distributed to highlight the benefits of the midday break rules.
He also stated that inspection teams responsible for catching violators were also tasked with educating workers and companies on adhering to the midday break rules.
Maj Gen Bin Surour said the PCLA was committed to protecting workers as they played an integral role in building the country. The PCLA had set up a team to ensure implementation of the midday break and it would closely monitor and follow up on the preventive measures to protect the workers.
Abdul Momen Al Medawi, coordinator of the PCLA, said that inspections would be carried out every day to ensure that establishments were following the midday break rules. He also added that workers and the public can call 800 5111, or 04-70705005 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if they notice any violations.
Over 65,000 inspections were carried out in the UAE last year, with 99.9 percent of companies adhering to the rules, and only 58 establishments found to be in violation.
Rules for employers
Employers are required to provide a clear schedule to inform workers of their daily working hours during the midday break period. They must also provide them with shelter for the break.
In exceptional cases where continuous work is required, employers must provide workers with cold water and other recommended items by the country’s health authorities such as salt and lemon. They must also provide first aid, air-conditioners, sunshades and cold water.
Works excluded from the break include work on mix asphalt poured concrete if it is impossible to implement or supplement the necessary work in one day or doing work to prevent expected danger or reparation or damage or malfunction or loss. Emergency work includes cutting lines, water supply, sewerage, electricity and cutting off traffic or blocking public roads, in addition to cut gas pipelines or petroleum flow.