Summer mid-day work ban ends today

Minimal offences reported

A mandatory three-hour mid-day summer break for workers at construction sites and other outdoor places in the UAE and other Gulf oil producers ended on Thursday.

More than 100,000 work sites were affected by the three-month ban on work between 12.30-3.00 pm, intended to protect outdoor workers against heat illnesses during the scorching summer, when desert temperatures climb above 40 degrees.

The ban was enforced on June 30 and it targeted hundreds of thousands of workers at construction sites and other outdoor places through the UAE.

As in previous years, hundreds inspectors from the labour ministry have carried out random visits to those sites to ensure compliance by employers with the ban and have reported just a few hundred offences this year.

“Violations of the ban were again minimal this year thanks to efforts by ministry inspectors,” a ministry official said.

The labour ministry has warned firms against allowing their labourers to work during that period or they could be fined upto Dh15,000.

The UAE began enforcing mid-day work ban during summer several years ago to ensured safety for workers following reports of sun and heat strike incidents.

Saudi Arabia and other Gulf oil producers have also enforced that ban, which benefits mainly foreign workers as they account for the majority of outdoor labour.