UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia midday breaks commence
The countries' labour ministries have enforced work-hour restrictions to maintain worker health during summer months in the region
Midday breaks restricting work hours in order to prevent labourers from harsh summer conditions will come into effect today, 15 June, 2015, in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
Labour ministries from each country claimed the breaks will be stringently enforced on construction companies, and violating firms will be fined for non-compliance with the directives.
All three campaigns will also be in effect during the Holy Month of Ramadan, expected to commence shortly for the year.
The UAE's annual campaign, now in its 11th year, will run until 15 September, 2015.
Statistics show compliance with the midday break rule across the UAE last year reached 95.5%.
Violating companies in the UAE face fines of up to $13,612 (AED50,000) and could have their licences suspended if workers are found operating in direct sunlight between 12.30pm and 3pm.
The new work hour schedule in Saudi Arabia will span from the 28th of Shabaan (15 June, 2015) to the beginning of the month of Dhul Hijjah; a total of 93 days.
A statement released in the kingdom on Sunday (14 June, 2015) said "workers shall not work from noon to 3pm" from 15 June-15 September, 2015, local daily Arab News reported.
"However, the ministry pointed out that the regulation exempts workers of oil and gas companies, as well as maintenance and emergency fields," the report added.
Construction contractors in Saudi Arabia have claimed the decision by the country's Ministry of Labour to ban employees from working during summer peak hours will increase project costs by 8-10%.
In Qatar, the time slot for the morning session of construction work cannot exceed five hours, nor can construction work be carried out past 11.30am.
Construction work in the country may only resume after 3pm for the afternoon session.