The midday break from 12pm to 3pm applies to all those working in direct sunlight through the summer…

The midday work break for outdoor workers in the UAE will be implemented from June 15, it has been announced. Throughout the summer, outdoor workers must break from 12pm to 3pm every day until September 15 under the directive.

The annual summer midday work break is directed by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE). This year will be the 19th consecutive year that the summer midday work ban has been implemented, and ensures that workers are protected from occupational hazards and work-related injuries. During the work break, employers must ensure there’s a shaded or indoor area for workers to rest.

According to state news agency, wam, during the months of the ban working hours should not exceed eight hours in a 24-hour period. That applies both to morning, evening or split working shifts. Those that do work additional hours are entitled to be compensated financially for overtime.

Some jobs that require work to continue uninterrupted are exempt from implementing the three-hour midday work ban. This should only be for technical reasons, like laying asphalt or pouring concrete; or for works that affect the community, like cut water or electricity supply, or traffic issues.

In these instances an employer must provide enough cold drinking water, hydrating foods approved by the local authorities, and on-site first aid. Industrial cooling, umbrellas that protect from direct sunlight and shaded areas must also be provided.

Those that fail to comply with the rules on the UAE midday work ban can face a fine of Dhs5,000 for each worker (the fine will be issued to the employer), with a maximum fine of Dhs50,000 where there are multiple workers violating the ban.

Mohsen Al Nassi, Assistant Under-Secretary for Inspection Affairs at MoHRE, said, “We are confident that employers across the country will comply with the provisions of the ban.”

“Over the past years, we have seen impressive compliance rates, which confirms the level of awareness in the market about the importance of this decision and its effective role in protecting workers from the hazards of direct exposure to sunlight or working in open spaces around noon,” he added.

If you notice any violations of the midday work ban, you can call MoHRE on its 24/7 helpline of 600590000.