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Friday, May 31, 2024

MoHRE implements Midday Break from 15 June to 15 September 2024

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) is set to begin implementing the Midday Break – prohibiting work under direct sunlight and in open-air areas across the UAE – between 12:30 and 3:00 pm, from 15 June until 15 September 2024.

The Break, which is being implemented for the 20th consecutive year, is a cornerstone of the country’s labour market legislation. It aims to provide a safe working environment that adheres to best practices and standards of occupational health and safety, protecting workers against injuries that may result from working in high temperatures during the summer months.

His Excellency Mohsin Al Nassi, Assistant Undersecretary for Inspection Affairs at the MoHRE, said: “Implementing the Midday Break has become a deeply ingrained culture in the UAE’s business community and among private-sector companies in the country, given its role in ensuring the health and safety of workers, who we consider to be the most valuable resource of any company.”

He added: “The commitment we have seen from companies to implementing the Break over the past years reflects the deep sense of awareness, partnership, and social responsibility in the business community, underlining their dedication to implementing all regulations concerning workers’ protection and safety.”

“We look forward to continued cooperation between the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, private-sector companies, and community members to achieve our shared goals, enhance the leadership and competitiveness of the UAE labour market, and boost its efficiency, productivity, and attractiveness to local and international talent, all while improving workers’ wellbeing,” Al Nassi continued.

“This reflects the humanitarian and positive nature of legislation and practices implemented in the UAE, highlighting the level of appreciation we have for workers in the country.”

The Midday Break takes into account the need to maintain continuity in certain jobs that affect the community as a whole with some jobs that require work to continue uninterrupted are exempted from implementing the decision for technical reasons. These include laying asphalt or pouring concrete, in the event where it is unfeasible to postpone these tasks until after the break.

Also, on the list are works needed to contain hazards or repair damages that affect the community, such as interruptions to water supply or electricity, cutting off traffic, and other major issues with basic services. The exemption also includes works that require a permit from a government authority to be implemented, given their impact on the flow of traffic and services.

Employers are required to provide parasols and shaded areas that protect workers against direct sunlight during the Midday Break or while performing their exempted jobs, as well as adequate cooling devices such as fans, sufficient drinking water, hydrating materials such as salts and/or other food items approved for use by the local authorities in the UAE, along with other amenities and first aid equipment on the job sites.

MoHRE will be monitoring the level of compliance with the Midday Break among companies by conducting inspection tours and receiving reports from community members about violations of the ban through its call centre at 600590000, its website, or its smart application. Companies found to be in violation face fines of AED5,000 for each worker operating during the Midday Break hours, and up to a maximum of AED50,000 for multiple workers.

The Ministry will also be launching awareness campaigns and field visits to work sites, in collaboration with its partners, to educate workers and employers about the importance of complying with the Midday Break during its enforcement period. In previous years, significant compliance has been recorded among private-sector companies.

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