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Friday, September 22, 2023

UAE workers to take lunch break from June 15 ahead of ban


The UAE’s annual lunch break policy will come into effect on June 15 – but with temperatures hitting summer highs recently, many companies have already begun cutting back on employees’ daytime hours even before the official announcement.

Mohammed Shain Khan, a 23-year-old Bangladeshi construction worker with the Gulf Roads Group, said these midday breaks “are a much-needed blessing”.

“Watching the temperature, our company has started a midday break, which provides us with a valuable opportunity to recharge,” Khan said.

According to the UAE’s midday break policy, working in open spaces exposed to direct sunlight is not permitted between 12.30pm and 3pm daily from June 15 to September 15.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (Mohre) also said that daily working hours will not exceed eight hours during the ban period. If an employee works more than 8 hours a day, the excess hours will be considered overtime and the employee is entitled to compensation.

Employers who violate the regulations will be fined Dh5,000 per worker. If multiple employees work during the prohibited hours, the fine could be as high as Dh50,000.

Sabir Ahmad, a 27-year-old worker who lives in the DIP 2 Serve Hub, said the breaks help them fight fatigue and even reduce their risk of injury. All because they were allowed to rest for almost three hours.

“Working in the hot sun and doing physical labor can be exhausting,” said the Bangladeshi expat.

Henry, Joshwa and Gift from Ghana all work at Accomplished Cleaning Services and are happy to be back in bed – thankful their company has also started implementing a short midday break.

“A mid-day break allows us to cool down, catch our breath, and replenish our energy levels. It’s a valuable time for us to rehydrate, eat a proper meal, and refocus for the rest of the day. I think it’s a It’s a blessing because it recognizes the hard work we put in at work and shows that our employers value our health and wellbeing,” the expat said.

Why Working in the Sun in Summer May Be Harmful

Doctors in the country have long praised the UAE’s moves to help keep workers safe over the summer. They point out that direct exposure to sunlight this season may contribute to a variety of diseases and conditions. Here are some of them:

This occurs when a person’s body temperature exceeds the normal range and can no longer be tolerated. “This can lead to dizziness, fever, nausea, fatigue, weakness, hallucinations and, ultimately, death,” said Dr Mohamed Zedan, a family medicine specialist at the NMC Royal Hospital in Sharjah.

Exposure to UV rays can cause skin cancer. It can start in a small area and spread to vital organs like the bones and lungs.

This can be due to excessive loss of fluid and minerals leading to muscle weakness, fatigue, and muscle cramps, which if left uncorrected for a long time can lead to kidney failure.

These are usually first-degree burns that are very painful and tender to the touch.

Doctors say midday breaks and breaks offer workers two benefits. “First, avoiding heat peaks and the worst times of the day with the highest UV concentrations can avoid heat stroke, burns, skin cancer and dehydration. Second, rest periods allow the worker to be more comfortable and hydrated, allowing him to perform at a high level of energy and comfort Getting ready to get back to work, of course, leads to more focus and better production,” Dr Zedan said.

Copyright © 2022 Khaleej Times. all rights reserved. Supplied by SyndiGate Media Inc. (Syndicate Information).


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