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UAE midday work break for labourers to begin on 15 June

Companies could see fines of up to $13,600 and face temporary suspension for flouting the mandate, it has been confirmed

The midday work break will begin on 15 June in the UAE [representational image].
The midday work break will begin on 15 June in the UAE [representational image].

The annual midday work break for labourers in the UAE will begin on 15 June. 

Each year, workers in the country are barred from working under direct sunlight as part of a mandate to ensure their health and safety. 

Mandated by the UAE's labour authority, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE), the break prevents work in direct sunlight between 12.30pm and 3pm for a three-month period. 

Exceptions include work on poured concrete, especially if it is impossible to complete in one day. Work that, if delayed, may cause danger, damage, malfunction, or loss is also excluded from the list. 

Violators will be fined $1,400 (AED5,000) for each person found working during break hours, and a fine of up to $13,600 (AED50,000) could be levied if the case involves a large number of labourers.

The violating party also faces the risk of being downgraded and temporarily suspended from operations. 

Working hours will be divided into two shifts totaling eight hours across the morning and evening. Nasser bin Thani Al Hamli, the UAE's Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, said compensation must be provided to staff that works overtime. 

Employers are required to provide a clear schedule informing workers of their daily working hours during the midday break, and deliver a shelter that workers can use between 12.30pm and 3pm.

In exceptional cases where continuous work is required, employers must provide cold water and other items recommended by UAE health authorities, such as salt and lemon.

They must also be given access to first-aid, air-conditioners, and sunshades, the UAE's state news agency reported.

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