UAE’s annual summer outdoor work ban to start Monday

UAE companies are at risk of being penalized up to Dh50,000 if they break the afternoon outdoor work ban during summer. (AFP file photo)
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Updated 14 June 2020

UAE’s annual summer outdoor work ban to start Monday

DUBAI: The UAE’s annual ban on outdoor work during the hot summer months begins on Monday and would last for three months, the country’s human resource and Emiratisation ministry said.

A worker is not required not to stay in the outdoor workplace after 12:30 p.m. and is prohibited from resuming work before 3:00 p.m., state news agency WAM reported.

A WAM report said that summer season in the UAE will officially start on June 21 and will continue until September 23, with temperatures expected exceed more than 43° Celsius.

Employers are required to provide their workers with a shaded place to rest in during their breaks.

The ministry also said that daily working hours, for morning, evening or both shifts, are not to exceed eight hours.

If a worker exceeds such eight hours within 24 hours, the extra time will be deemed overtime, for which the worker is to be paid in accordance UAE labor rules, the ministry added.

But companies responsible for works which must continue for technical reasons are exempted from the ban.

“Workers can continue working during the banned hours if they are working on projects that cannot be postponed for technical reasons such as asphalting of roads and laying concrete as well as repairing damage in water pipes, petrol pipes, sewage pipes or the disconnection of electrical lines,” it said.

The exemption also includes those working on projects licensed from governmental departments which could affect the flow of traffic, or also that which could affect electrical, water supplies or communications.

The ministry likewise advised exempt companies to provide rehydration facilities for workers, at the risk of penalty being imposed equivalent to Dh5,000 per worker or a maximum of Dh50,000 for multiple workers.

US blasts Houthis over ‘ticking time bomb’ tanker in Red Sea

Updated 10 August 2020

US blasts Houthis over ‘ticking time bomb’ tanker in Red Sea

  • Iran-backed militias renege on agreement to allow UN inspectors aboard stricken vessel holding 1.4 million barrels of oil

AL-MUKALLA, Yemen: The US blasted Iran-backed Houthi militias in Yemen on Sunday for reneging on a deal to allow UN teams to board a rusting oil storage vessel that threatens an environmental disaster in the Red Sea.

The FSO Safer has been moored 7 km off the coast of Yemen since 1988. It fell into Houthi hands in March 2015, when they took control of the coast around the port city of Hodeidah.

The Houthis briefly bowed to pressure last month and agreed to allow a team of UN engineers to visit the ship, before changing their minds and restating their previous demands for the revenue from the oil. As the vessel’s condition deteriorates there are fears that the 1.4 million barrels of oil it contains will start to seep out.

“The Houthis have failed to follow through on their agreement to allow a UN team on to the Safer,” the White House National Security Council said on Sunday.

“They are courting environmental and humanitarian disaster by obstructing and delaying. For the good of Yemen and the region, the Houthis must allow the UN aboard the Safer.”

A recent water leak into the tanker’s engine prompted warnings of a major disaster.

“The time has come for a resolute response for an outcome,” the Yemen Embassy in Washington said on Sunday. 

“There cannot be more delays or deliberations. UN inspectors must immediately access and assess the Safer oil tanker even without Houthi permission.”

The UK echoed its concerns. “There is another floating disaster off the Yemeni coast with potentially as massive an ecological footprint as the shockwave that engulfed Beirut,” former Middle East minister Alistair Burt said. “The politics preventing safe evacuation of the oil must stop immediately.”