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Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Al Awar: UAE Takes Great Care of Labourers and Provides them with The Best Working Conditions

His Excellency Dr. Abdulrahman Al Awar, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, visited one of the construction sites in Abu Dhabi to ensure the optimal implementation of the Mid-Day Break – a ban on outdoor work during the summer months across construction sites in the UAE.

The Mid-Day Beak came into force today [15 June] between 12:30pm and 3:00pm and will continue until 15 September 2022.

During his visit, His Excellency Dr. Al Awar stressed that the UAE has always been a pioneer in its humanitarian mission and has accorded significant care and attention to all the residents throughout its history.

Dr. Al Awar said that labourers in the UAE have always enjoyed special attention from the wise leadership. He mentioned that His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE President, commended their efforts and their "valuable contributions and constructive role in the country’s progress", while His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has always emphasised that "the UAE is a country and home for everyone.”

During the visit, Dr. Al Awar was accompanied by His Excellency Khalil Khoury, Acting Under-Secretary for Human Resources Affairs, and senior officials in the ministry.

Dr. Al Awar pointed out that the Mid-Day Break, which is being implemented for the 18th consecutive year, aims to protect the labourers and their health and has become a gained right as per the UAE laws and an integral part of the UAE’s work environment, which had yielded positive results in the past years aimed at improving the overall safety and wellbeing levels. 

He also noted that the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation is committed to ensure the implementation of the Mid-Day Break, and that the ministry has provided direct communication channels to report any violations of the rule or any complaints in the matter.

Al Awar emphasised the importance of collaboration with the private sector and thanked the business establishments in the country for their continued commitment to implement the Mid-Day Break over the years, coupled with other decisions that enhance the business environment in the UAE.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation is implementing the Mid-Day Break for the 18th consecutive year, in line with the Ministry’s continued commitment to occupational health and safety, which aims to provide a safe working environment for labourers and spare them the risks of exposure to high temperatures during the summer months.

The Ministry receives reports from the community members about any violation of the Mid-Day Break through its call center at 600590000, operational from Monday to Saturday from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm in several languages, in addition to receiving reports through the Ministry's smart application.

Some professions and jobs are exempted from the Mid-Day Break for technical reasons which requires work to continue uninterrupted. These include project works such as spreading the asphalt mixture or pouring concrete or other work necessary to ward off danger, repair, damage, malfunctions or accidental emergency losses, including work to repair obstruction in water supply lines, sewage lines, electric lines, or obstruction of traffic on public roads, and gas or oil pipelines.

It also excludes works whose implementation requires a permit from a competent government agency due to their impact on the flow of traffic and services, such as cutting off electricity and telecom lines.

In the event of works or tasks that for technical reasons should continue without interruption during the afternoon hours, the employer shall provide cold drinking water commensurate with the number of workers on duty, and the conditions of safety and public health should be maintained by providing hydrating food and liquid such as salt, lemon and other materials that are approved for use by the local authorities in the country. In addition, companies should keep provisions for first-aid at the work site, appropriate industrial cooling facilities and shades from direct sunlight, and providing a shaded place for workers to rest during their downtime.

An administrative fine will be imposed on establishments that violate the mid-day break amounting to AED 5,000 for each worker and a maximum of AED 50,000 in the case that multiple workers are working in violation of the ban.

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