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Friday, June 14, 2024

Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation reviews private sector’s preparations to implement Midday Break

His Excellency Dr. Abdulrahman Al Awar, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, reviewed the private sector’s preparations to begin implementing the Midday Break, which prohibits working under direct sunlight and in open-air spaces every day from 12:30 pm to 3:00 pm, and is scheduled to start tomorrow, Saturday, 15 June, until 15 September 2024.

Al Awar paid a visit to one of Sobha Realty’s projects in Dubai, accompanied by several senior officials from the Ministry, where he toured the rest areas provided by the company for its workers, which are equipped with cooling devices, cold water, and other amenities to ensure workers’ health, safety, and comfort during the Midday Break.

Ravi Menon, Co-Chairman of Sobha Realty, and Francis Alfred, Managing Director, along with several executives from the company briefed Minister Al Awar on the key initiatives that the company has launched to ensure workers’ protection and establish a decent and safe working environment.

Al Awar praised Sobha Realty’s initiatives and its commitment to ensuring the health and safety of its workers, expressing his great confidence in “the significant awareness among private sector companies about the importance of implementing occupational health and safety requirements and standards at work sites and labour accommodation facilities, given their positive impact on workers’ health, safety, and productivity.”

“The Midday Break has become a well-established culture in the UAE private sector as it enters its 20th consecutive year,” Al Awar noted, underlining the high levels of compliance that the initiative has achieved over the years. “The private sector is a strategic partner for the government in its efforts to enhance the competitiveness and leadership of the UAE labour market.”

“We can see this clearly in companies’ consistent compliance with labour relations regulations, as well as in their commitment to supporting labour market initiatives and programmes, in addition to prioritising social responsibility,” he added.

A number of MoHRE partners have participated on the visit to offer giveaways, medical examinations and refreshing foods to the workers, namely Beit Al Khair Society, Aster DM, Golden Spike and Wheat Est., and Novella Ice Creams.

Inspection teams from the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation are set to conduct field visits to work sites in order to ensure companies’ compliance with the Midday Break, in line with the joint campaign the Ministry is running in collaboration with its partners in the government and private sectors to raise awareness about the Midday Break, highlight its provisions and requirements, and emphasise its positive impact on the health and safety of workers.

Medical examinations will be conducted for workers, and outdoor worksite supervisors will be trained on first-aid procedures, with a focus on addressing heat stress-related cases.

The Midday Break requires companies to provide shaded areas for workers to protect them from heat stress caused by sun exposure while working. Companies must also provide adequate cooling devices, sufficient drinking water to prevent dehydration, first aid equipment at work sites, and other means to ensure workers’ comfort.

The Ministry had announced that 6,000 rest stations will be provided for delivery workers across the UAE, in addition to an interactive map of these stations to enable workers to easily locate and access them throughout the Midday Break period.

The rest stations initiative is implemented in collaboration with Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA); Integrated Transport Centre in Abu Dhabi; and the departments of economic development across the UAE. Partners also include delivery companies, such as Talabat, Deliveroo, Noon, Careem, and others, while a range of restaurants, shopping centres, retail stores, and cloud kitchens will also be offering rest areas for delivery drivers.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation called on all private sector companies that carry out outdoor work to launch similar initiatives to ensure the safety of their workers, while also urging community members to report any irresponsible practices or violations of the Midday Break by contacting MoHRE’s call centre at 600590000, or through its website or smart application.

This serves to ensure the Midday Break is implemented to the highest standards and create a healthy and safe work environment that supports the UAE’s humanitarian approach for the labour market and protect workers from injuries, sunstroke, heat stress, and other conditions.

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