The midday break which was implemented for the ease of workers and protect them from the heat, is being violated by hundreds of companies in the Sultanate of Oman this year. The Ministry of Manpower (MoM) highlighted that over 750 companies have been fined for breaching the midday break rule, in 2018 so far.
From June to August 2018 a total of 2,665 companies were inspected for midday violations. The data from the Ministry revealed that out of these 771 companies were found violating, while the rest 1,894 abided by the midday rule.
In August, a total of 158 companies were found neglecting the rule. As per the statistics released by the Ministry on midday break violations, the officials had visited 591 companies during the inspection.
Statistics of July show the highest number of violations recorded with 362 companies fined over omitting the midday rule. The month also marked the highest number of business inspections, with 1,071 companies.
Besides, in June, 1,003 establishments were visited, out of which 251 were found breaking the rule, while the rest 752 companies abided by it.
The midday break is announced every year for occupational safety and health regulations, in accordance with Article 16 of the Oman Labor Law. Under the rule, during the months of June, July and August, workers must not work in elevated areas, construction sites, or in open, from 12:30 pm to 3:30 pm.
This year too, the break was put into effect from June 1 and lasted until the end of August, as during this time period summer is at its peak.
Furthermore, the Article 118 of the Oman Labor Law also states that the violators can be penalised with a jail term of not more than one month, fines ranging from OMR100 to OMR500, or both. Besides, in case of repeated violations, the penalty will be doubled.
A construction worker in Oman, A Kumar admitted that working in the scorching summer sun is intolerable. Explaining it further, he said, “During this time, temperatures hover between 40 and 47 degrees Celsius, so it is very difficult to work.”
During these three months this year, in order to provide a midday break to their workers, several companies in the Sultanate have changed their work timings.