UAE announces an annual noon work ban to protect workers starting from this date

Omar Abbas - | Business

In a steadfast commitment to safeguarding worker health and well-being, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has reinstated its annual noon work ban.

This regulatory measure, now in its 20th year, prohibits outdoor work between June 15th and September 15th from 12:30 PM to 3:00 PM, during the scorching summer months when temperatures soar to hazardous levels.

Mohsen Al-Nasi, the Assistant Undersecretary for Inspection Affairs, underscores the integral role of the noon work ban in preserving worker health and safety. He emphasizes that this regulation is not merely a legal obligation but a cornerstone of corporate responsibility, instilling a culture of care and compliance among businesses and private sector entities operating within the UAE.

Al-Nasi stresses the significance of collaboration between the Ministry, private sector, and community stakeholders in enhancing the nation's labor market leadership and competitiveness. By prioritizing worker welfare and adherence to labor regulations, the UAE aims to attract and retain local and international talent while fostering sustainable economic growth.

While the ban restricts outdoor work during peak sun hours, exceptions are made for essential tasks that cannot be delayed without causing technical complications or jeopardizing public safety. These exemptions include critical infrastructure maintenance and repair works, subject to approval from competent government authorities.

Employer obligations and worker protections

To offset the ban's impact on impacted workers, companies must provide shaded rest rooms with cooling amenities such as fans and proper water facilities. Furthermore, firms must guarantee that first aid supplies are available to address any heat-related health conditions as soon as possible, thereby protecting worker well-being.

The Ministry employs a robust monitoring system to ensure compliance with the noon work ban, conducting inspections and receiving reports from community members via designated channels. Violations are met with fines, with penalties ranging from 5,000 dirhams per affected worker to a maximum of 50,000 dirhams for multiple infractions, thereby incentivizing adherence to labor regulations.

Awareness Initiatives and Education Campaigns

Recognizing the importance of proactive education, the Ministry collaborates with relevant stakeholders to conduct awareness campaigns and site visits. These initiatives aim to educate both workers and employers about the significance of the noon work ban in preventing heat-related illnesses and fostering a culture of safety and compliance across all sectors.

The annual implementation of the noon work ban underscores the UAE's unwavering commitment to prioritizing worker welfare and occupational safety. Through collaborative efforts, stringent enforcement measures, and proactive education campaigns, the Ministry seeks to create a conducive work environment that promotes the well-being and productivity of all workers, contributing to the nation's sustainable development and global competitiveness.

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Omar Abbas
Omar Abbas
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