Reduced working ban takes effect
Two-and-a-half-hour ban kicks in across Dubai as other GCC countries maintain longer breaks for workers
Dubai will begin its two-and-a-half-hour summer midday working ban today (1 July), making it one of the shortest work time bans in the GCC.
This year, the Ministry of Labour cut back the midday working ban by 90 minutes compared to 12 months ago, meaning labourers will be able to rest between 12.30pm and 3pm until the end of August.
With summer temperatures expected to soar past 48 degrees, other countries in the region have introduced midday breaks of at least three hours to protect construction workers from heat-related illnesses.
Bahrain has a summer working ban from 12pm until 4pm for the months of July and August, as well as a ruling that contractors must provide their staff with air-conditioned buses to and from work.
Qatar’s Civil Service Affairs and Housing has introduced a new law to stop work at construction sites between 11.30am and 3pm until 31 August, while Omani construction workers are allowed to take respite from the sun between 1pm and 4pm.
And in Kuwait a strictly enforced working ban runs from 12pm to 4pm during June, July and August.
“We will not tolerate any of our workers dying due to heat stroke so I hope the justification that the Ministry of Labour in Dubai has offered for the cut back in the working
ban time, works,” said BS Mubarak, labour consul, Indian Consulate.
In Qatar, the deaths of 40 Nepalese workers on construction sites since the start of the year has prompted the country’s embassy to launch a media campaign to alert labourers to the dangers of working in the summer sun.
Last year, 118 Nepalese workers were reported to have
died, 20% from cardio-respiratory arrest, according to figures released by the Nepalese Embassy.
The Ministry of Labour was unavailable for comment.