A few companies in the UAE have been found to have violated the mid-day work ban provisions, prompting a reminder from the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (Mohre) that the ban is in effect until September 15. The mid-day work ban, which started on June 15, prohibits work in open spaces or under direct sunlight from 12:30 pm to 3:00 pm due to the extreme heat during the summer months.
To ensure worker safety during the hot summer, the UAE government has set several requirements for employers under the #ProtectOurWorkers campaign:
- Observing the Noon Break: Outdoor workers should have a break from 12:30 pm to 3:00 pm.
- Providing Cold Drinking Water: Employers are required to provide cold drinking water to keep workers hydrated.
- Offering Hydration Sources: In addition to water, employers should provide other hydration sources like salts, lemons, and other approved fluids.
- Designating First Aid Areas: Work sites must have designated first aid areas equipped with necessary tools.
- Providing Cooling and Ventilation: Employers should ensure appropriate industrial cooling and ventilation mechanisms to mitigate heat exposure.
- Creating Shaded Resting Areas: Shaded resting areas should be available for workers during the midday work ban.
The UAE has also limited daily working hours to eight. If an employee is required to work more than eight hours within a 24-hour period, it’s considered overtime, and the employee is entitled to additional pay.
Violations of the mid-day work ban can result in fines of Dh5,000 per worker, with a maximum cap of Dh50,000 in cases with multiple workers. Furthermore, companies that fail to comply may face consequences such as suspension of their file or downgrading of their rating based on the severity of the violation.
The Mohre has launched awareness campaigns to emphasize the importance of following these rules to ensure the well-being of workers, especially in the challenging summer conditions. The regulations aim to protect the health and safety of workers, prevent heat-related illnesses, and promote responsible labor practices across the UAE.