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According to the midday break rule, working hours will be divided into two shifts, morning and evening, with a total of eight hours daily. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/ Gulf News Archives

Abu Dhabi: The annual midday break for labourers during summer months in the UAE will begin today, June 15, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation has announced.

The decision by the ministry prevents any work under direct sunlight between 12.30 pm and 3 pm for three months (till September 15).

The rule, which was introduced in 2004, has been offering a big relief and health protection for labourers working in various fields.

From 12.30pm to 3pm

Issued by Nasser Bin Thani Al Hamli, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, the decision stipulates that employers should not allow outdoor staff to work after 12:30 and the work must not be resumed before 15:00 (3pm).

Employers should also provide field workers with shaded areas during their rest.

The decision states that daily working hours in morning and/or evening shifts shall not exceed eight hours.

Any additional working hour shall be deemed an overtime, for which the worker shall be paid in accordance with the provisions of the law on regulation of labour relations.

Dh5,000

fine for every person found working outdoors, directly under the sun, during break hours — to be slapped on companies found in violation of the midday break rule

Violators will be fined Dh5,000 per person found working during the break hours, up to a maximum Dh50,000 if the case involves a large number of workers.

The company will be downgraded with considerations of temporally stopping its right to function.

For exceptional cases which require work continuation during those periods for technical reasons, employers must supply workers with all facilities that cater to their health, including first aid, air-conditioners, sunshades and cold water.

As per the decision, if an inspector found and documented any violation with evidences (photos), the violating facility will be fined.

However, the facility shall be entitled to lodge a complaint within 30 days of the fine by submitting a challenge application accompanied by documents to be examined by a special committee for final decision.

The decision also obliges employers to clearly display a schedule of daily working hours in accordance with the provisions of this resolution, provided that is written in the language workers understand in addition to Arabic.