Contractors lobby against noon ban

UAECA says that any summer working ban will create major logistical problems for the local industry

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By  Conrad Egbert Published  May 13, 2006

The UAE Contractors’ Association (UAECA) has called on the Ministry of Labour in Dubai to avoid implementing another midday working ban this year. Last year the Ministry of Labour introduced a ban on working between 12pm and 4pm during July and August. The announcement caused confusion across the industry and was later changed to allow construction work to continue inside or in shaded areas. Now, UAECA general manager, Humaid Salem, has said the re-introduction of the ban this year would create major problems for the sector. “There are certain jobs, like dewatering or road construction, that cannot be stopped in the middle of the day. They are ongoing processes.” He added that a decision would need to be made very carefully in order to protect both the worker and contractor’s interests. The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs is expected to issue the contractors’ association with guidance on summer working hours, next month. “We expect to hear back from the Ministry in about two to three weeks, so that we can take the necessary steps to implement the rule. “I suppose the decision will be taken depending on the kind of work that is being carried out. If some work requires continuity then that company will get special permission to carry on working throughout the afternoon,” added Salem. He rejected the idea of nightshift-only working during the summer months. “It’s not possible to have only night shifts as that would cause a huge cost problem within the industry. “Costs would escalate for everyone, including the materials companies, the sub-contractors and the energy companies.”

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