Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Mid-day break for labourers

Mid-day break for labourers
By Riyasbabu (Our staff reporter)KHALEEJ TIMES 11 June 2008

DUBAI — The Ministry of Labour (MoL) yesterday announced the mid-day break for labourers for this year's summer months, banning outdoor work between 12.30pm and 3pm daily during the months of July and August.

Making the announcement, Humaid bin Deemas, Under-Secretary of MoL, stated the ban would provide respite to construction workers from the scorching sun and high humidity during the peak summer months.

Humaid bin Deemas said all preparations were in place for the implementation of the rule and violators would be penalised.

The MoL started implementing the mid-day break rule since 2005 as a part of its commitment to ensuring the health and safety of workers during the summers.

"This is the fourth year we are implementing the mid-day break. The response from companies as well as workers has been overwhelming," said Humaid bin Deemas, while disclosing that the number of violators had been declining over the last two years.

According to the figures provided by the MoL's Inspection Department, some 1,240 companies were found flouting the ban in 2005, 862 in 2006 and 617 in 2007.

"This shows that more companies are aware about the law. We'll increase the number of inspectors this year," said Humaid bin Deemas, without specifying the number of inspectors to be deployed this year.

According to the law, companies violating the rule for the first time will be fined Dh10,000 and their status will be transferred to 'C' category for three months and all of their new visa applications will be blocked.

If a company is found violating the law for the second time, a fine of Dh20,000 will be slapped and its status will be downgraded for six months.

If the company violates the law the third time, the fine will be Dh30,000 and its work licence will be suspended for one year.

Humaid bin Deemas added: "All the companies should provide shades for workers to rest during the mid-day break. A failure to do so will be considered a violation of law and violators will face the same penalties."

He clarified: "Government organisations are not exempted from the law. All the government departments will be informed of the rule and they have to oblige by it."

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