Inspection teams to ensure midday rule is followed

Inspectors to take prompt action in case of violation

Dubai: Inspection patrols from the Permanent Committee of Labours’ Affairs will check work sites on a daily basis to ensure full compliance with the midday break rules for labourers. The inspection of the sites and outdoor work premises started Wednesday, the first day of the three-month break initiative.

Major General Mohammad Ahmad Al Merri, Director General of the General Directorate for residency and Foreigners’ Affairs and head of the committee, told Gulf News that inspection teams will patrol the emirate’s roads and work sites. “The inspectors will take immediate actions as per the law in case of any violation,” he said.

“We are working with all concerned authorities on protecting the workers’ rights in the UAE and any company breaching the rights of any of its worker will be punished according to country’s law,” he said.

A team from the committee is also visiting workers and companies to raise awareness about their rights and the importance of the midday break.

“I urge all companies to adhere to the rules not fearing punishment, but for humanitarian reasons,” he said.

He said the results of the first day of implementation of the initiative showed that companies are sticking to the break period from 12:30pm till 3:00pm.

At the same time, the Ministry of Labour announced yesterday, that the mandatory midday break will end on September 15.

This was announced during a press conference yesterday at the ministry’s premises and attended by representatives from companies all over the UAE.

Maher Hamad Al Obaid, assistant under-secretary for the Inspection Sector at the ministry said that authorities in UAE are very keen on protecting workers’ rights.

“This step is taken by the government and is based on humanitarian grounds as all workers must be protected by everyone here,” he said.

“We, as part of the authorities who are concerned in protecting workers’ rights, will work very hard to make sure that all companies in the private sector who are operating here are applying the midday break rules,” he said.

Breaking rule costly

First time offenders of the midday break law will have their firms downgraded to category C for at least three months in addition to payment of Dh10,000 fine. Category C firms are not eligible for work permits for at least six months.

Second-time offenders will be downgraded to category C and will have no work permits processed for nine months and will be fined Dh15,000. Third-time offenders will pay fine of Dh20,000 and will be downgraded to category C and will not be issued labour permits for at least one year. Employers must post notice of daily work timings at a visible spot at their work sites so that inspectors can see it clearly during their inspection visits.