Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 24 October 2019

UAE's midday summer break for outdoor workers to start on Saturday

The mandatory law offers vital respite from the intense summer sunshine

The vUAE's mandatory midday break for outdoor workers will come into operation on Saturday. Christopher Pike/Bloomberg
The vUAE's mandatory midday break for outdoor workers will come into operation on Saturday. Christopher Pike/Bloomberg

The UAE's mandatory midday break for people working outdoors during the summer months will come into force on Saturday, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation has announced.

The annual initiative - which was introduced in 2004 - offers employees vital respite from the intense glare of the sun during the hottest period of the year.

The break, from 12.30pm until 3pm each day, will remain in place until September 15 for all work carried out in open places.

Employers are prohibited from making staff work outdoors during the three-month period and must provide a shaded area for them to rest.

The directive was issued on Thursday by Nasser Al Hamli, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation.

It limits workers' shifts to eight hours and ensures that anyone who exceeds those hours is paid overtime.

Those found breaking the midday break rule will be fined Dh5,000 for each worker. Businesses will be fined a maximum of Dh50,000 if a group of labourers is found working during the assigned hours.

In exceptional cases in which continuous work is required during the designated break, employers must provide cold drinking water and other items such as salts and lemon and provide first aid kits.

Members of the public are urged to report any violations of the workplace law by calling a free, 24-hour hotline number, 80060.

Public schools have also taken action this week to help pupils stay safe as temperatures soar across the Emirates.

Government schools will have periods reduced to 40 minutes instead of the usual 45 minutes and pupils will be given three minutes to move from one class to the next.

The school day will be reduced by about an hour as a result of the changes.

The summer timings, which came into effect on Sunday and will continue until early July, were announced in a circular released by the Ministry of Education.

Updated: June 13, 2019 01:24 PM

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