Abu Dhabi: As the summer beats in, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization (MoHRE) is all set to introduce Mid-Day Break for laborers who work at project and construction sites.
The Mid-Day break which will begin from the 15th of June to the 15th of September 2022, will restrict laborers from working outdoors between 12.30 PM to 3.00 PM.
The MoHRE Official highlighted that the Mid-Day Break during the afternoon hours is a key feature of the UAE labor market, and has achieved positive results over the past years. Notably, this has led to a significant reduction in the cases of workers’ exposure to heat exhaustion and heatstroke, reinforced by relevant reports issued by the health authorities in the country.
Mr. Al Nassi commended the positive role and support of the private sector establishments who have committed to implementing the Mid-Day Break over the years. This is a fundamental pillar of success that has been achieved with the active participation of the community, reflecting UAE’s vigilance in protecting the health and safety of workers and labors.
The Acting Assistant Under-Secretary for Inspection Affairs at MoHRE elaborated that in concurrence with the Mid-Day Break, various awareness and guidance activities and initiatives that focus on educating workers and employers about the importance of adhering to the work ban at the specified times will be implemented in cooperation with government and private entities and institutions in the various regions and emirates of the country.
The MoHRE also stated that it receives reports from community members about any violation of the Mid-Day Break through the call center on 600590000 from Monday to Saturday from 8:00 AM to 8.00 PM in several languages, in addition to receiving reports through the smart application to the Ministry.
Laborers engaged in some occupations which require the work to continue uninterrupted have been exempted from the Mid-Day Break.
Some of the jobs which fall into this category are; spreading the asphalt mixture or pouring concrete or other work necessary to ward off danger, repair, damage, malfunctions or accidental emergency losses, including work to repair obstruction in water supply lines, sewage lines, electric lines, or obstruction of traffic on public roads, and gas or oil pipelines.
Certain other forms of works which require a permit from a competent government agency due to their impact on the flow of traffic and services, such as cutting off electricity and telecom lines are also exempted from offering Mid-Day Breaks on site.
PROVISIONS ON EXEMPTED WORK SITES
Employers at sites where the work needs to continue due to technical reasons are mandated to offer;
· Cold drinking water adequate with the number of workers on duty
· Hydrating food and liquid such as salt, lemon and other materials that are approved for use by the local authorities
· Provisions for first-aid at the work site
· Appropriate industrial cooling facilities and shades from direct sunlight and
· A shaded place for workers to rest during their downtime.
Employers are also required to post the schedule of daily working hours in a prominent place, in accordance with the provisions of the midday break, provided that it is in a language that workers can understand in addition to Arabic.
Establishments violating Mid-Day Break are expected to be imposed with administrative fines amounting to $1,361.28 (AED5,000) for each worker and a maximum of $13,612.80 (AED50,000) in the case that multiple workers are working in violation of the midday break.