Firms fined for flout­ing mid­day break

7 Days in Dubai - - FRONT PAGE - By Is­mail Se­bug­waawo @is­mailsebu is­

More than 180 firms were caught this sum­mer vi­o­lat­ing the manda­tory mid­day break rule in the UAE, which gives respite to work­ers dur­ing the swel­ter­ing heat.

The Min­istry of Hu­man Re­sources and Emi­rati­sa­tion yes­ter­day said 187 com­pa­nies were fined be­tween Dhs5,000 and Dhs50,000 for mak­ing their em­ploy­ees work be­tween the hours of 12.30pm and 3pm.

Com­pa­nies that failed to com­ply were also con­sid­ered for sus­pen­sion from trad­ing.

The mid­day break is im­ple­mented be­tween June 15 and Septem­ber 15, when tem­per­a­tures in the Mid­dle East hit their peak.

Ma­her Al Obed, As­sis­tant Un­der­sec­re­tary for In­spec­tional Af­fairs, said: “We car­ried out 66,302 in­spec­tional vis­its, 10,040 in the cap­i­tal and 7,062 in Al Ain, while Dubai saw 13,569 vis­its.

“We con­ducted 7,197 vis­its in Shar­jah, 7,522 vis­its in Aj­man, 7,847 vis­its in Ras Al Khaimah, 4,275 vis­its in Umm Al Quwain and 8,790 in­spec­tional vis­its in Fu­jairah.” Last week, 7DAYS told how that although the manda­tory mid­day break for out­doors work­ers ended on Septem­ber 15, some con­struc­tion com­pa­nies said they will vol­un­tar­ily ex­tend breaks if tem­per­a­tures and hu­mid­ity reach a cer­tain point. The min­istry can also tell firms to tem­po­rar­ily re­in­state the break.

Os­sama Mo­hamed Han­tash, con­struc­tion man­ager at a Sei­dco site on Reem Is­land, said last week: “It is still very hot and the ac­tual sta­tus within the site is hot­ter, we can­not make peo­ple work in those con­di­tions con­tin­u­ously, no one should be work­ing in such hot tem­per­a­tures.

“So when­ever the tem­per­a­ture goes higher than 40 de­grees Cel­sius and hu­mid­ity ex­ceeds nor­mal lev­els, we give longer breaks of up to three hours.”

HEAT­ING UP: More than 180 firms broke the mid­day break rules

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