Qatar’s labor ministry shuts 42 sites for violating midday work ban

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Nearly four dozen companies have had their construction sites temporarily closed for flouting the midday outdoor work ban, the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (MOLSA) has said.

In a statement on its Facebook page last night, MOLSA said that 42 of the 475 sites that were inspected since June 15 were observed in violation of the ban.

During Qatar’s summer, temperatures regularly exceed 40C.

According to ministerial decree No. 16 for the year 2007, those who work outdoors or directly under the sun should only work for five hours during the day and should take a break from 11:30am until 3pm from June 15 until Aug. 31.

The law also states that the employer should post a notice outlining the daily working hours for its staff.

Early last monthMOLSA warned of penalties for companies whose workers were found on duty during the middle of the day, saying they could be closed for up to one month. It continued:

“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.”

MOLSA also listed a hotline for people to call in case they spot violations: 44241101.

Sweltering weather

This year is set to be one of Qatar’s hottest on record.

While some companies have changed their employees’ working hours, workers can still be observed toiling outdoors during the sweltering afternoon hours at some construction sites.

To help them cope with the heat outside the restricted hours of the summer months, more construction companies have been exploring the idea of incorporating high-tech cooling gear into uniforms.

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