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UAE Authorities Reinforce Midday Break Policy to Safeguard Worker Health

This vital initiative, marking its 20th consecutive year, aims to shield workers from the harsh effects of direct sunlight and scorching temperatures during the peak of summer

In a steadfast commitment to prioritize the welfare of laborers across the United Arab Emirates (UAE), authorities have reaffirmed the implementation of the midday break policy, set to commence from June 15 to September 15, 2024.

This vital initiative, marking its 20th consecutive year, aims to shield workers from the harsh effects of direct sunlight and scorching temperatures during the peak of summer.
Under the directives of the UAE government, all outdoor work activities are prohibited between 12:30 PM and 3:00 PM during the specified period.

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Stricter enforcement measures have been put in place, with fines ranging from Dh5,000 for each employee found working during the designated break, escalating up to Dh50,000 for multiple violations within the same entity.

However, exemptions exist for essential services crucial for the functioning of society.
Activities pertaining to water and electricity supply, road construction, and other critical infrastructure projects will be permitted to operate during the midday hours, albeit subject to obtaining requisite permits from regulatory authorities.

Recognizing the paramount importance of safeguarding workers’ well-being, employers are mandated to furnish adequate provisions for their staff.

This encompasses the provision of shaded areas, parasols, fans, potable drinking water, and first aid facilities at worksites. Such measures are aimed at mitigating the risk of heat-related illnesses and ensuring optimal working conditions.

Mohsin Al Nassi, Assistant Undersecretary for Inspection Affairs at the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE), underscored the significance of the midday break policy in upholding the dignity and safety of the workforce.

He emphasized, “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.”

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In addition to enforcement efforts, the Ministry will embark on comprehensive awareness campaigns and conduct regular field visits to worksites to ensure adherence to the prescribed regulations.

These proactive measures aim to foster a culture of compliance and accountability among employers while empowering workers to assert their rights to a safe and conducive work environment.

The steadfast commitment of the UAE government to prioritize labor welfare underscores its dedication to upholding international standards of labor rights and human dignity.

As the nation continues its trajectory of economic growth and development, ensuring the well-being of its workforce remains paramount, reflecting the values of compassion, inclusivity, and progress that define the UAE’s national ethos.

Tariq Saeed

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