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The Ministry of Labour in the United Arab Emirates has released its annual summer working conditions resolution, outlining the restrictions that employers must observe during the hot summer months, when temperatures can exceed 40 degrees Celsius .
From Saturday 15 June to Sunday 15 September, those who work in direct sunlight are entitled to receive a break between 12.30pm and 3.00pm. Employers must also provide a shaded area for the workers during this two-and-a-half hour period. Working hours are restricted to a maximum of eight hours in every 24 hour period.
Employers are also required to have and display shift schedules, in both Arabic and the employees’ native languages, proving their compliance with these regulations. Compliance will be monitored by inspectors.
The resolution applied to all workers who are exposed to direct sunlight in their line of work, regardless of industry or sector. They do not include, for example, workers who operate machinery outdoors but are enclosed in an air conditioned environment, such as crane operators.
If employees are required to work in direct sunlight between the hours of 12.30pm and 3.00pm, employers are duty bound to provide sufficient cold drinking water, nourishing minerals (salt, lemon etc), first aid on site, industrial cooking devices, and protective shade against the sun.
Any employer found to be in breach of the resolution can be fined AED 15,000 (£2,645) per violation.