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Thursday, March 4, 2021

Summer working restrictions for Qatar laborers begin tomorrow

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

With reporting from Riham Sheble

Starting tomorrow, June 15, Qatar companies that employ people who work outdoors will need to adjust their working hours or face sanctions from the government.

Until Aug. 31, laborers can only work a maximum of five hours outdoors in the morning. They also cannot work in the sun between 11:30am and 3pm.

The annual regulations – which were laid down in a ministerial decree in 2007 – also stipulate that employers must display laborers’ hours clearly in their workplace.

The decree also threatens companies who don’t comply with an automatic one-month closure of their workplace.

Night-time work

The combination of sweltering weather and long days of fasting during Ramadan make this time of year particularly hard for Qatar’s labor workforce.

To counter this, some employers are already shortening days, while others have shifted work to the nighttime hours.

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

Today, the Gulf Times cited a manager of a construction site in the Al Hilal area as saying that his company has already decided to carry out all building work at night to protect workers from “the scorching heat of the day.”

The newspaper also spoke to a site supervisor who said that night-time hours had convinced many of his employees to remain with the company long-term.

He said that previously, laborers who were required to work outdoors in the summer had not wanted to return to Qatar after their annual vacation, but the new system had changed things:

“On the contrary, almost 99 percent of those who were working in shaded or protected areas returned for duties after their vacation,” he said.

More inspectors

Over the past year, Qatar has increased efforts to crack down on violators of the law, more than doubling the number of inspectors it had on its books to 350 by January.

It plans to increase this number to 400 by the end of 2016.

In a recent post on Twitter, the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labor and Social Affairs’ (ADLSA) reminded companies that forcing their workers to work during banned hours is a contravention of the law.

The poster goes on to state that repeat offenders will be referred to the public prosecutor so that further legal action can be taken against them.

ADLSA summer working hours flyer
ADLSA summer working hours poster

Although the ministry has not announced a specific hotline for the reporting of violations this year, if you spot laborers working outside between 11:30am and 3pm, you can call the ministry on 40288888, or tweet them, @ADLSAQa.

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