This short break provides an opportunity for rest and relaxation from a busy workday
As the clock strikes noon, workers eagerly await this precious pause. They seize the opportunity to refresh their minds, connect with loved ones, and engage in leisurely activities. This short break provides an opportunity for rest and relaxation from a busy workday. “It’s time to take a break and get back to work,” said Mohammed Minul and Mohammed Abdul Karim from Bangladesh, who work at ServeHub in Al Quoz.
Noon break restrictions for workers and laborers on construction sites in the afternoon working hours come into effect today and they will be given a break from 12.30pm to 3pm and will continue until 15 September 2023.
The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) is implementing this initiative for the 19th consecutive year. Non-compliant employers will be fined Dh5,000 per worker. The maximum fine is Dh50,000 if more than one worker is made to work during the prohibited hours.
During the lunch break, workers can be seen chatting and playing cards, and they find joy in these recreational activities. Downtime is also a critical time for workers to connect with their families.
Mohammed Minul and Mohammed Abdul Karim.
Karim goes to work at 8 am and returns to her residence at 12 noon to receive much needed blessings. “Once we get there, we freshen up, cook, eat, and take a break. Many of us talk to family back home, which is a way to relieve stress. Some of us either play a game of cards or take a nap.” Just a moment,” Karim said.
“During this time, we eagerly connect with their families to share updates, laughs, and comfort ourselves by hearing their voices. These conversations provide us with a sense of comfort and motivation,” Cary Tom added.
For Minul, however, it connects with his colleagues and energizes the environment with music playlists that make it part of their entertainment. “We cook together, eat together, sit around and talk about our work, discuss and plan our future in our home country. We even play music to relax,” Minul said.
For some, this noon break is a time of devotion and prayer. Sikander Shah, a construction worker, took time out for prayer during the noon break on the first day. “When the clock struck 12.30, I refreshed and had lunch. After lunch, I used this time to pray to the Almighty and recite the Quran, which gave me comfort and peace. After the break, I was full of energy,” says Shah .
Workers were also given water, juice and snacks at the camp where they rested. “These snacks and juices help us cool down in the hot summer. We really appreciate the management of our company,” said Joshua, a Ghanaian expatriate who works in a cleaning company.