File photo shows workers enjoying their time as they wait for their bus to start work after the mid-day break. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: Inspections to monitor midday break compliance began on Monday.

The Ministry of Labour dispatched 18 teams across the UAE to ensure labourers are not working outdoors between 12.30pm and 3pm until September 15.

The ministry aims to conduct 60,000 field visits to report compliance levels across the nation and 20,000 field visits with educational purposes.

The inspection teams will document the violations by filming workers found on duty during the banned timing and reporting the images to a committee, which will take the necessary action against company owners.

A fine of Dh5,000 per worker will be imposed on companies violating the midday break rule. Offenders will also have the classification of their companies downgraded by the ministry, and will be fined Dh5,000 for each worker, with the maximum fine not exceeding Dh50,000.

Some companies can secure an exemption from the rule if they are working on emergency projects.

This is the 11th consecutive year where the ministry has imposed a midday break during peak summer hours, protecting workers from the risks of working under direct sunlight.

Earlier this month, the ministry began carrying out campaigns to raise awareness among employers and workers on the importance of the decision which aims to achieve high rates of risk prevention, plus provide water and cold juices during resting periods.

Employers are instructed to provide a shaded area for workers to rest during the midday break and provide adequate preventive methods to protect workers from work-related injuries.

The ministry said that daily working hours must not exceed eight hours in either the day or night shift, and overtime should be paid to those working additional hours.

Last year, 99.6 per cent of companies across the UAE adhered to the midday rule. The statistics were based on surprise inspections carried out by the ministry. Almost 80,000 facilities were visited and more than 100,000 inspections carried out.

The ministry urges the public to take necessary measures to follow up on those issues by reporting such cases by calling the toll-free number 800 665 or through the ministry’s smartphone application.