DUBAI: The midday break in the UAE, which banned laborers from working during the hottest hours of the day, has been lifted, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization announced on Thursday.
The ban came into effect on June 15 and prohibited jobsite activities from 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. to protect workers from the risk of exposure to high temperatures during the summer months.
Employers were required to post a schedule of daily working hours in a visible place in languages that all the laborers understood, in addition to Arabic, state media Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported.
If construction companies violated the law, a fine of $1,361 (5,000 dirhams) would be issued for each worker, with a maximum fine of $13,612 (50,000 dirhams) if multiple workers involved.
For the past 92 days, the ministry said it had conducted 55,192 inspection visits, according to WAM.
The midday break has been implemented for 18 years and involved a series of procedures, awareness programs and events – all of which were organized with private sector partners to ensure compliance with the regulation.
Some personnel were exempted from the midday break as their work was considered vital for projects’ uninterrupted implementation, such as spreading asphalt mixture or pouring concrete, as well as diverting traffic or cutting off electricity and telecom lines.
In the event that work had to continue without interruption during the afternoon hours, the employer had to provide cold drinking water to the workers on duty, and maintain the conditions of safety and public health by providing hydrating food and liquids, according to WAM.
Companies were also directed to provide umbrellas, first-aid kits, appropriate cooling facilities and shaded places for workers to rest during their rest time.