x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Violations of midday break rule reported to be minor

From July 1 to last Monday, the Permanent Committee for Labour Affairs in Dubai inspected 2,399 facilities, of which 2.5 per cent were found offending.

ABU DHABI // Most of the 61 violations of the midday break rule found so far in Dubai have been minor, officials said yesterday. From July 1, when the rule took effect, to last Monday, the Permanent Committee for Labour Affairs in Dubai inspected 2,399 facilities, meaning 2.5 per cent were found offending. Labour law requires companies to provide a well-ventilated shelter for rest between 12.30pm and 3pm, when temperatures are highest.

"The violations were minor. And sometimes it wasn't the company forcing the labourers to work during the break - some workers don't really understand what the break is or its significance," said Major Gen Mohamed al Marri, the chairman of the committee. "That's why the committee exists. The main goal is to explain to the labourers about the break and the benefits of not working under the sun during that time."

He said that if, when the inspectors visit a site, they see anyone working during break time they take pictures and speak to the foreman. Then they send a report to the Ministry of Labour. Major Gen al Marri said it is up to the ministry to decide what penalties the companies will face and whether their names will be announced. Moreover, some facilities are exempt from the break in certain situations.

"For example, if the contractor starts pouring cement, they can't stop until they finish," he said. "So in this case the ministry might excuse them, or they could already have special permits from the ministry." The inspections will continue until the end of August. @Email:hdajani@thenational.ae