The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) has announced that the three-month-long midday break rule, prohibiting any outdoor labour between 12.30pm and 3pm, will end on September 15.
The mandatory annual work break, which was first introduced 15 years ago and began on June 15 this year, aims to ensure the well-being and safety of labourers working under direct sunlight and to protect them from heat exhaustion, heatstroke and COVID-19 for three months.
Companies responsible for outdoor works that must continue for technical reasons are exempt from the ban. Workers can continue working during the banned hours if they are working on projects that cannot be postponed for technical reasons such as asphalting of roads and laying concrete as well as repairing damaged water pipes, petrol pipes, sewage pipes or the disconnection of electrical lines.
This also includes those working on projects licensed from government departments which could affect the flow of traffic, electrical connections, water supplies or communications.
Employers of exempt companies must provide cool drinking water to the workers on duty and in accordance with the requirements of public safety and health; they should also provide thirst-quenchers such as salt and lemon, and keep first-aid kits in the workplace. Strict adherence to all precautionary measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 also needs to be observed.