Keeping Workers Cool: MoHRE Implements Midday Break From June 15 to September 15, 2024

The scorching UAE summer sun is just around the corner, and with it comes the return of a vital regulation to protect workers’ health and safety: the midday break. Implemented by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE), this initiative prohibits outdoor work under direct sunlight during the hottest part of the day.

What is the Midday Break?

The midday break is a mandatory period when outdoor work activities are suspended. This year, it will be in effect from Saturday, June 15, 2024, to Wednesday, September 15, 2024. During this timeframe, workers cannot perform any duties under direct sunlight or in open-air areas between 12:30 PM and 3:00 PM.

Why is the Midday Break Important?

Working outdoors in extreme heat can lead to a number of health risks, including heatstroke, dehydration, and exhaustion. The midday break aims to mitigate these risks by allowing workers to rest in cooler environments during the peak heat hours. This not only protects their physical well-being but also helps maintain productivity throughout the day.

Who Does the Midday Break Apply To?

The midday break applies to all private sector companies in the UAE that involve outdoor work activities. This includes, but is not limited to, construction workers, delivery personnel, security guards, landscapers, and road crews.

What are the Exemptions?

There are a few limited exemptions to the midday break rule. These include:

  • Emergency or urgent maintenance work that cannot be delayed.
  • Specific sectors with pre-approved alternative working arrangements demonstrated to be safe for workers during midday hours.

Ensuring Compliance

MoHRE will be conducting inspection tours to ensure companies are adhering to the midday break regulations. Workers who are found to be working outdoors during the break period are entitled to rest and proper hydration. Companies found violating the rules can face fines of up to AED 5,000 per worker, with a maximum of AED 50,000 for multiple violations.

How Can Businesses Prepare?

Here are some ways businesses can prepare for the midday break:

  • Adjust work schedules: Shift working hours to avoid outdoor work during peak heat times.
  • Provide adequate hydration: Ensure workers have access to cool drinking water throughout the day.
  • Offer cool-down areas: Create designated shaded or air-conditioned spaces for workers to rest during the midday break.
  • Educate employees: Inform workers about the midday break regulations and the importance of staying hydrated and avoiding strenuous activity during the hottest part of the day.

A Collaborative Effort

The success of the midday break relies on a collaborative effort between MoHRE, businesses, and workers. By working together, we can ensure a safe and healthy working environment for everyone during the UAE’s summer season.

Additional Resources:

  • Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE):
  • Midday Break Announcement (Press Release): [Link to MoHRE press release on midday break 2024 (assuming one exists)]

Stay Cool and Stay Safe!

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