Midday break rule needs bolstering

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Midday break rule needs bolstering
Talking to a group of labourers working outside one recent afternoon, I learnt that there are some side effects of the strict implementation of the midday break (Building sites stick to midday break rule, June 16). These side effects may even spoil the positive effects of the midday work stoppage.
For example, some workers are transported back to their individual labour camps, where they are forced to relax without air-condition or water facilities, as they are either switched off or cut to avoid usage during noon hours.
There are companies that take care of their workers, but not all of them do. And as I learnt, midday break rule violations are just the tip of the iceberg.
Take health care. If a worker from an irresponsible company becomes sick, he has to continue going to work or risks cuts to his salary. Medical assistance is also not always available in case of injury.
Authorities should put parallel survey and compliance procedures in place at labour camps during noontime breaks, to monitor how breaks are being given and to ensure workers are afforded comfortable rest, with air conditioning and water.
Checks should also be made with increasing frequency within the city to make sure workers are not toiling in the sun during noon hours.
Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi
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