Lawyers warn that daytime ban could wreck deadlines

Knock on effect of new labour laws is uncertain.

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By  Sean Cronin Published  July 23, 2005

Top UAE construction lawyers have warned that projects could bust their deadlines as a result of the introduction of the daytime working ban. Confusion still surrounds the ruling following a move by the Ministry of Labour to backtrack on its initial announcement banning all working, by allowing work to continue between 12.30 and 4.30 pm ‘in the shade’. Berrymans Lace Mawer partner Jeremy Cama, said: “The cumulative effect of the lost hours of work will be significant. Assuming a six day working week, the number of hours lost will amount to at least 212, or 26.5 days over the period of the ban.” He added: “If contractors are not able to adjust their work schedules to compensate for the lost time, the question will arise as to whether they will be entitled to an extension of time for the completion of work, for reimbursement of any additional cost as a result, or both. “Employers will be asking whether they will be justified in imposing liquidated damages on the contractors for delay.” With many residential projects already under tight construction timetables, the ban will force contractors as well as clients to review their contract forms in search of a get-out from potentially costly claims. Another Dubai-based lawyer, said: “Someone will have to pick up the tab for this, particularly on time-sensitive projects that may involve commercial tenants moving in on a particular date, for example shopping centre developments.” Contractors flouting the daytime work ban risk being fined up to AED3000-a-man.

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