UAE Labour Ministry announces midday break

Firms banned from making labourers work in the afternoon until September 15

The UAE labour ministry has decided to impose this year’s midday break rule for labourers starting from June 15, it was announced on Tuesday.

Previously, the rule ran for two months of the year, but for the last two years the ministry has extended the break to three months as part of its plan to increase labourer welfare in the country.

The rule bans companies from making the labourers working under the sun and in open areas from 12.30pm to 3:00pm until September 15.

According to the ministerial ordinance, employers should provide their workers with shaded places of rest during the recess period. It also makes it mandatory on the employing firms to publish a daily schedule of working hours in Arabic and the languages the workers can understand in order to help the labour inspectors follow-up the implementation of the rule.

Furthermore, the ordinance said that if workers were employed for more than eight hours a day on site, they would be entitled to overtime wages as per Federal Law.

Companies found in violation of the rules will be penalised and each case of breach will incur a monetary penalty of around $4,000.

However, exceptions to the rule have been granted, if the project requires uninterrupted work for technical reasons. Employers on these sites are required to provide cold drinking water in proportion to all employees, while also observing health and safety rules.


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