UAE Mandates Midday Break for Workers

The scorching summer sun in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will necessitate a mandatory break for outdoor workers, starting June 15th and extending until September 15th. This annual initiative, enforced by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE), prioritizes worker safety during the hottest months of the year.

The midday break prohibits any work under direct sunlight and in open-air environments between 12:30 PM and 3:00 PM. This two-and-a-half-hour respite offers workers crucial protection from heatstroke, dehydration, and other heat-related illnesses. The policy applies for a duration of three months, coinciding with the peak summer period.

MOHRE emphasizes the significance of this regulation for safeguarding worker health and well-being. Mohsen Al Nassi, Assistant Under-Secretary for Inspection Affairs at MOHRE, highlighted that the midday break aligns with "the highest professional and humane standards designed to protect workers from potential risk of injury resulting from high temperatures during the summer. " This initiative reflects the ministry's commitment to establishing a secure work environment and fostering a culture that prioritizes worker welfare.

Employers are legally obligated to adhere to the midday break guidelines. This entails adjusting work schedules to ensure compliance and prohibiting any outdoor work during the designated break period. Additionally, employers must provide shaded areas for workers to rest comfortably during this mandated break. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in penalties for employers.

The midday break offers numerous advantages beyond safeguarding worker health. By ensuring workers are well-rested and hydrated during the hottest part of the day, it can lead to increased productivity and improved focus upon resuming work. Furthermore, it fosters positive employer-employee relations by demonstrating a commitment to worker well-being.

The midday break policy serves as a commendable model for other nations contending with scorching summer temperatures. It underscores the importance of prioritizing worker safety and implementing regulations that create a secure and healthy work environment.

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