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Friday, September 17, 2021

Labor Ministry reminds Qatar companies to honor summer midday work ban

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Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Firms in Qatar whose employees work outdoors should prepare to shift around their schedules next week when the summer midday work ban takes effect, the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (MOLSA) has said.

The annual ban runs from June 15 to Aug. 31, and mandates that laborers not spend more than five hours working outdoors during the mornings.

On Twitter, MOLSA warned of penalties for companies whose workers were found on duty from 11:30am to 3pm, 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 appears set to be one of Qatar’s hottest on record, with temperatures already regularly exceeding 40C.

This week feels particularly sticky due to high humidity. According to Steff Gaulter, senior meteorologist for Al Jazeera English, this type of weather doesn’t normally set in until mid-July.

But she told Doha News that winds should help clear away the humidity by the weekend.

For illustrative purposes only
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

While some companies have voluntarily changed their employees’ working hours already, many workers can still be observed toiling outdoors during the sweltering afternoon hours.

To help them cope, more construction companies have been exploring the idea of incorporating high-tech cooling gear into uniforms.

TechNiche International, for example, sells wrist and headbands that are soaked in water for a couple of minutes and can cool the wearer for up to four hours, as well as inserts that are filled with a special liquid that stays cold when slipped into one’s pocket.

The company’s Qatar manager said sales have gone from negligible in 2013 to in the seven digits last year.

Thoughts?

24 COMMENTS

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Ali Elali
Ali Elali
6 years ago

Just to remind them !!!

ingeniero
ingeniero
6 years ago

small companies take care about such things due to heavy fines… Big shots usually doesn’t follow

The Reporter
The Reporter
6 years ago
Reply to  ingeniero

don’t you mean the other way round? Nothing to do with money either because enforcement is a joke. The bigger firms are usually on major projects where the Client (public) body put a great deal of responsibility on the contractors to enforce H&S – and many of the H&S reps are western trained.

ingeniero
ingeniero
6 years ago
Reply to  The Reporter

Companies with proper HSE system do follow the rules ‘somehow’ , but there are local companies who are A-Grade, but not following always.
Small companies usually work on residential projects in outskirts of Doha, where these inspectors visit mostly, so there’re less chances to work outside because they’re more visible from far away.

onthefence
onthefence
6 years ago
Reply to  ingeniero

Definitely the other way round, working hours are more strictly enforced on the major projects due to the HSE systems in place by the contractors consultants and clients. Just take a drive round between 11:30 and 15:30 and see where guys are working

great move
great move
6 years ago

Great move

Michael Fryer
Michael Fryer
6 years ago

The minute some unfortunate worker drops dead from heatstroke or a heart attack the racist western press will be all over it, using it as yet more proof that workers are subjected to slave like conditions.

Let’s pray the authorities do proper inspections and prevent such violations.

Big Sumo
Big Sumo
6 years ago
Reply to  Michael Fryer

Didn’t you see the news? Qatar says it’s quite normal for 20-30 year old fit men to die here of heart disease. Swopping hours, cool wristbands, indoors outdoors blah blah makes no difference. Even the Indian embassy agreed, quite normal, in India they would probably die sooner……. Hmmmm…..

Coco
Coco
6 years ago

Shabina can you please link to a memo or a circular if there are any? I’d like to take a print and shove it down some throats…it’s hard to do that with a tweet. Hopefully they’ll release something official. I mean, everyone knows this but unless it’s in print it’s hard to be proactive with some of the jaldi-jaldi clients. Thanks, and btw I’ve checked MOLSA website but couldn’t find anything.

ShabinaKhatri
ShabinaKhatri
6 years ago
Reply to  Coco

Here it is:

Coco
Coco
6 years ago
Reply to  ShabinaKhatri

Thank you so much.

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago

44241101

Remember this number

Also it should be from 1 Jun till 15 Sep as the 1 Jun and the 14th of Sep is pretty much the same weather as any August day.

Chilidog
Chilidog
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Is anyone answering at this number? I just tried and no one answered. I don’t think they did last summer either.

And you’re right about extending the dates.

bleh!!
bleh!!
6 years ago
Reply to  Chilidog

guess the rules apply to them also!

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago
Reply to  Chilidog

Try it from 15th .. I did before and they answered and they guy in the phone asked me to take pics and send it to him on what’s app with the location …. Next day same time the site was closed for the afternoon …

Also I drive up to the workers sometimes and I tell them to give me the phone of the foreman who more than not is either an Egyptian half asleep or some Indian guy… I tell them if I find workers at this time out again I’m reporting you … And that does the trick

Anon
Anon
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Good on you…..

Transcension
Transcension
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Love your concern! Keep up the great work!

Transcension
Transcension
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Agreed, I’m definitely unsure why September 2, or June 1, would be any “better” than the specified dates. I do believe they have to make a cutoff somewhere between work and no-work, yet I don’t think the period serves justice if the reason on carrying the no-work period was to “not expose laborers to lethal heat.”

desertCard
desertCard
6 years ago

5 hours during the mornings? What time do they start work? What about the afternoons? That’s when it’s hottest. Confusing.

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

5 am till 11 am, second shift 3.30 till 7.30 with 1.5 hrs paid overtime

AEC
AEC
6 years ago

Is it just me or was it ridiculously hot last week too?

Doodz
Doodz
6 years ago

Company should follow the rules… It’s Sa MUST!!!! El Niño is not a JOKE!!!! Heat stroke is a silent killer… Better to be cautious…than be Sorry!!!!!

Rane de Beer
Rane de Beer
6 years ago

Thanks for the notice. I’ve printed it out, and suggest everone does it. We will need to distribute it sooner than later, because at most of the smaller building sites I walk past, I have not seen any information regarding the new hours.

skynet
skynet
6 years ago

As this comes from Ministry of Labor affairs so is it also imposed on the airport labor staff who do loading’s in aircraft 24/7 and even in between mid day work ban??????

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