UAE's midday break for outdoor workers begins

The mandatory law came into effect on Saturday across the Emirates

As temperatures approach their peak for the year, the UAE's mandatory midday break for outdoor workers has come into effect.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation announced last week that the break would begin on Saturday across all seven emirates.

The annual initiative was introduced in 2004 and allows workers to break from 12.30pm to 3pm each day up until September 15.

Temperatures last week reached up to 48°C in some parts of the country and were expected to climb to around 45°C on Saturday in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

The past few days have also seen high humidity make conditions that bit more challenging, and the sticky air is expected to continue into next week.

As part of the law, employers are required to provide a shaded area for outdoor workers to rest, while anyone who exceeds eight-hours work must also be paid overtime.

Those found breaking the midday break rule will be fined Dh5,000 for each worker. Businesses will be fined a maximum of Dh50,000 if a group of labourers is found working during the assigned hours.

Members of the public can report any violations by calling a free, 24-hour hotline number, 80060.

The onset of summer has also been affecting the education sector, with the country's government schools reducing hours until the end of term in July following an announcement by the Ministry of Education.

However, private schools in Dubai will not be following suit.