Midday work ban ends today

A mandatory mid day summer break for workers at construction sites and other outdoor places in the UAE ended on Tuesday with reports of minimal violations.

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

The ban was enforced on June 30 and it applied to hundreds of thousands of workers, mostly Asians, at construction sites and other outdoor places through the UAE.

Hundreds inspectors from the labour ministry have carried out random visits to those sites to ensure compliance with the ban and have reported a few hundred offences.

“Violations were again minimal this year. Last year, more than 98 per cent of the companies affected by this decision complied with the summer ban and I believe it is the same this year,” a labour ministry inspector said.

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

The UAE began enforcing midday 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.

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