Fifty-nine companies caught breaching UAE midday break rules

Failure to comply with annual initiative will lead to fines of up to Dh50,000

About 60 employers across the UAE have been caught breaching the midday break rule this summer. Sarah Dea / The National
Powered by automated translation

Nearly 60 cases of employers breaching UAE midday break rules have been uncovered, officials have announced.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation said offences this summer have affected 130 workers across the UAE, state news agency Wam reported.

The UAE's annual midday break for outdoor workers began on June 15 to protect people from scorching summer temperatures.

The policy prohibits people from carrying out work in open spaces between 12.30pm and 3pm, and will remain in effect until September 15.

Officials said on Tuesday that the ministry had conducted more than 67,000 inspections from June 15 to August 17, and more than 28,000 visits to provide guidance to employers.

It discovered 59 cases in which the rule was broken, affecting more than 100 workers.

However, the ministry said most companies had been compliant.

“The midday break is part of a series of solid measures taken by MOHRE to protect workers' rights and provide all conditions and components of occupational safety and health,” said Mohsen Al Nassi, assistant undersecretary for inspection affairs at the ministry.

“These inspections and awareness-raising rounds are part of our commitment to ensuring that establishments adhere to decisions and regulations to provide the best humanitarian and social standards that enhance the UAE labour market's competitiveness and flexibility,” he said.

For 19 years, the UAE's enforced midday break requires employers to provide workers with umbrellas and cooling equipment, such as fans, cold drinking water, authorised hydrating salts and appropriate amenities.

Companies caught breaking the rules will face fines of Dh5,000 ($1,360) per worker, reaching a maximum of Dh50,000.

The ministry has urged members of the public to report any breaches by calling 600 690 000.

Breaches can also be reported on the ministry's mobile phone application.

Updated: August 29, 2023, 12:30 PM