Midday work ban begins June 15; violators face a month’s closure
- Cassey Oliveira
- On June 10, 2014
The midday work ban for those working outside comes into force from Sunday, June 15. The work ban covers the hottest period of the day, between 11.30 am and 3pm. According to the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (MOLSA) the ban will be effective till 31 August, 2014.
There might be a further change to work hours during Ramadan. In previous years the workers resume work after futoor.
The ministry recently issued a notice, referring to the 2007 ministerial that restricts outdoor work during summer. Employers must place the working hours timetable in a prominent place in the work site. It should be visible to all workers as well as to labour inspectors during inspections.
Those violating this law would face a closure for a month, as per the ministry’s decision. There is a hotline number 44241101 for any enquires or complaints. (JustHere tried the number several times, but there was no response.)
Though the MOLSA statement is clear about working outdoors, it doesn’t say if the workers have to be transported back to their accommodation for the period or be provided a shaded shelter on the site.
However, an HSE officer at HBK Contacting Company W.L.L, Keith Parker, told JustHere, that transportation of workers back to their accommodation was a “mandatory requirement” as per the country’s labour laws.
Meanwhile, a safety officer from Al Bader Construction & Steel Works W.L.L, Pankaj Kumar, told JustHere, that the management were yet to decide on the arrangements to be made for workers during the break hours. “Currently, we have a shaded rest area in the work site for workers to have their lunch or take a break. But no decision has been made about where workers would stay during the three-hour break starting June 15.”
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Do your bit
JustHere has partnered with See My Culture, a local initiative, to launch a summer campaign #WhatIWillDo to reach out to low-income workers. The campaign invites residents to play their part in simple steps. For instance, greet workers if you see them, ask them about their family, or give them a Hala card for free. Now that it’s summer, distributing water bottles to workers is a brilliant gesture. Watch this short film by See My Culture, that captures the spirit of this campaign. [/boxify]
Excluded from midday work ban?
A few categories of workers, including security personnel and gas station attendants seem to be exempted from this ban.
A petrol station attendant at West Bay, Nasser M., told JustHere that there were three shifts for a day. “I work 6am-2pm straight. Only 20 minutes break in between for lunch. We get food and water from home, company doesn’t provide.”
He and his other colleagues weren’t aware of the mid-day work ban. “But the petrol station is shaded, so it’s better,” he said.
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