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22 July 2024

UAE implements Midday Break from June 15 to September 15

By E247

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) has announced the start of the Midday Break – prohibiting work under direct sunlight and in open-air areas across the UAE – between 12:30 and 3:00 pm, from 15th June until 15th September.

The Break, implemented for the 20th consecutive year, is a cornerstone of the country's labour market legislation. It aims to provide a safe working environment that adheres to best practices and standards of occupational health and safety, protecting workers against injuries that may result from working in high temperatures during the summer.

Mohsin Al Nassi, Assistant Undersecretary for Inspection Affairs at the MoHRE, said, "Implementing the Midday Break has become a deeply ingrained culture in the UAE's business community and among private-sector companies in the country, given its role in ensuring the health and safety of workers, whom we consider to be the most valuable resource of any company.

We look forward to continued cooperation between the Ministry, private-sector companies, and community members to achieve our shared goals, enhance the leadership and competitiveness of the UAE labour market, and boost its efficiency, productivity, and attractiveness to local and international talent, all while improving workers' wellbeing."

The Midday Break takes into account the need to maintain continuity in certain jobs that affect the community as a whole. Some jobs that require work to continue uninterrupted are exempted from implementing the decision for technical reasons. These include laying asphalt or pouring concrete if it is unfeasible to postpone these tasks until after the Break.

Also on the list are works needed to contain hazards or repair damages that affect the community, such as interruptions to water supply or electricity, cutting off traffic, and other major issues with basic services. The exemption also includes work that requires a permit from a government authority to be implemented, given their impact on traffic flow and services.

Employers are required to provide parasols and shaded areas that protect workers against direct sunlight during the Midday Break or while performing their exempted jobs, as well as adequate cooling devices such as fans, sufficient drinking water, hydrating materials such as salts and/or other food items approved for use by the local authorities, along with other amenities and first aid equipment on the job sites.

MoHRE will monitor companies' compliance with the Midday Break by conducting inspection tours and receiving reports from community members about violations of the ban through its call centre at 600590000, website, or smart application. Companies found to be in violation face fines of AED5,000 for each worker operating during the Midday Break and up to a maximum of AED50,000 for multiple workers.

The Ministry will also launch awareness campaigns and conduct field visits to work sites, in collaboration with its partners, to educate workers and employers about the importance of complying with the Midday Break during its enforcement period.