x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Companies uphold break law

No companies have been found in violation of the Ministry of Labour's midday break rule since it was implemented on June 15.

ABU DHABI // Not one company in the capital has been found breaking the midday break law since its introduction almost two months ago.

Abdulaziz Zurub, head of health and safety at the municipality, said: "Companies understand how important it is to give workers a break when it is hot, and they also know their own productivity will be decreased if they are working."

The law requires that all outdoor, non-emergency work stop between 12.30pm and 3pm each day. Offenders face fines of Dh15,000 for non-compliance, up from Dh10,000 last year.

Mr Zurub said increased penalties could account for the general compliance. "That is a lot of money to some of these companies," he said.

Offenders also face restrictions on hiring new workers and receiving new labour cards from the ministry.

There are some exemptions to the law, for example workers laying asphalt and pouring concrete or doing emergency repairs. Some sewerage, electricity and traffic work can also continue.

Offenders will be fined after the first incident, but Mr Zurub said only a few minor breaches had been reported in the city. Warnings were issued.

This year, the Ministry of Labour planned to perform 60,000 inspections and 20,000 awareness visits up to September 15, when the ban ends.

Nineteen inspection teams will also conduct daily awareness visits ahead of the midday break.