Two weeks before Qatar’s summer midday working ban begins, the government is reminding companies to prepare to rearrange the schedules of its employees, or face penalties.
The ban takes effect from June 15 to Aug. 31. It was instituted in 2007, and mandates that no laborer log more than five hours of outdoor work in the mornings.
On Twitter, the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (MOLSA) said outdoor work must stop from 11:30am to 3pm. It added:
“Employers must place the working hours’ timetable at the work place, according to the decree. The timetable should be in a visible place where all workers can see and labor inspectors can easily notice during their inspection visits.”
Those found flouting the ban could be closed for up to one month, MOLSA said. It also listed a hotline for people to call in case they spot violations: 44241101.
For the past several weeks, residents have been calling on Qatar to start the midday work ban sooner, due to higher than usual temperatures, which nearly reached 50C over the last few days.
@dohanews 45deg & rising. Alwys carry an xtra bottle of water with you 4 that thirsty man working under the hot sun. Let's be good #Qatar
— SA (@shabeeraa) May 31, 2014
It's scorching 47 degrees at the Pearl #Qatar right now. Thoughts with the workers who toil here. #Doha
— Salman (سلمان صدیقی) (@salmansid) May 28, 2014
@MurrayShaw1 @salmansid Thoughts are nice and all, but perhaps some work place safety laws might be better.
— Enganche (@bad_football) May 28, 2014
Earlier this month, when temperatures began soaring past 40C, some companies told Doha News that they had already begun voluntarily observing the midday work ban, allowing their employees to cease working from 11:30am to 3pm.
But other businesses said they planned to continue working as usual, unless the government instructed them to do otherwise.
Not many of them though as there seems to be people working outside all over the place.
The break should be timed by temperature, not date. And it probably should be longer. Speaking as someone from a desert myself, working outside at this time of year is one of the truest hells you can experience.
I wish the Ministry would recognize this work ban to include time spent sitting in the hot sun waiting for their employer. How many times do you see workers either sitting outside for their entire mid-day break or waiting hours for their transport? Are the companies required to actually pick up their workers, because you just see so many – like the gardener in this photo – laying there for hours on end. The saddest sight is when you see several workers in a line, all trying to share the line of shade from a street light pole.
Don’t wait till the authorities come to tell you when the time is right. Be good and generous and use your common sense to be good and understanding about the work situation and health of your employees. Ultimately it will be the workers who will contribute to the well being of the organization
The biggest irony of all is that SEC recognized that it was too hot for students to learn in air conditioned classrooms in independent schools and shortened the school day … but it was okay for workers to continue working outside in the heat without even a source of shade in many cases. Where’s the logic in that?
If we find companies violating the rules we will form a committee to look into such violations and take the appropriate action. Well, once the committee members have finished reviewing the kafala reform recommendations and review of the allegations against 2022, which of course there is nothing to find. It is all a conspriacy.
It’ll probably be the case that the labor inspectors are also banned from working outside at the same times…….