More penalties for abusers of mid-day work ban

Up to 233% increase in labour card fees for offending companies

UAE labour authorities have introduced more penalties against private sector establishments which do not respect a midday work ban enforced this month to ensure the safety of workers exposed to long hours in the hot weather.

Besides heavy fines and possible suspension of projects, offending firms will also face an increase of up to 233 per cent in fees on the renewal of their labour cards, the semi official Arabic language daily Alittihad said on Monday.

“The new measures include raising such fees by between 33 and 233 per cent depending on the company’s grade,” the paper said.

It said this would raise the renewal fees from Dh600 to Dh2,000 for some offending firms. Other companies will be forced to pay Dh1,500 for labour card renewal, an increase of around 33 per cent, it said.

According to the paper, scores of inspectors from the ministry of labour have started random visits to construction sites to ensure compliance with the mandatory work ban from 12:30 pm to 15:30 pm. It said the ministry is expected to conduct at least 60,000 inspection visits of outdoor work sites during the three-month ban period and to organize 90 awareness workshops.

The ban, which is enforced annually, began on June 15 and will end on September 15 in line with a cabinet decision endorsed years ago to protect outdoor workers from sun strokes and other heat-related risks.

Outlining penalties last week, the ministry of labour said a company caught violating the ban for the first time will be fined Dh10,000 and downgraded to a lower grade. It will also suspend work permits for that firm for six months.

In case the offence is repeated, the company will be fined Dh15,000, downgraded and have its work permits frozen for nine months.

A firm violating the ban for the third time will be fined Dh20,000, downgraded and have its work permits halted for at least one year.

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