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Monday, March 8, 2021

Few workers seen outdoors as midday work ban takes effect in Qatar

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Construction site

Many local companies appeared to be adhering to the Qatari government’s midday outdoor work ban, which took effect today, June 15, and runs until Aug. 31.

The ban, which takes effect during the peak summer months, requires companies to stop outdoor work from 11:30am to 3pm.

Of the 10 construction sites around West Bay visited this afternoon by Doha News, eight of them were empty of workers between this time period.

QP District

However, on the site of QP District, a collection of buildings that are being constructed for Qatar Petroleum, work proceeded full-speed ahead during the early afternoon.

This was despite a memo posted by contractors Midmac and Al Jaber Engineering on site that said workers should only be indoors during the afternoon shifts. A handful of men could be seen at work outside, while several more worked inside the under-construction buildings, parts of which had no air conditioning or windows.

Speaking to Doha News, a security guard there said:

“Last year, the QP management obeyed the summer workers ban, but this year they haven’t. The workers here are working 24 hours a day, taking different shifts.”

QP could not immediately be reached for comment.

Reminders

The midday summer work ban has been in effect since 2007, but is not always observed by companies.

construction site

However, this year, Qatar’s Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (MOLSA) has issued stern reminders to companies to follow the midday work ban. Businesses that do not rearrange their employees’ schedules to adhere to the new timings could be closed for up to one month.

In addition to stopping outdoor work in the afternoon, businesses are also required to post the working hours’ timetable in a visible place. Workers should also have access to shade and drinking water during this time.

MOLSA has also advised anyone who sees workers outdoors during this time to call their hotline at 44241101. However, no one answered the phone when Doha News called the number this afternoon.

Earlier this month, as temperatures began rising past 40C, some companies told Doha News that they had already begun voluntarily observing the midday work ban, allowing their employees to cease working from 11:30am to 3pm.

But other businesses said they planned to continue working as usual, unless the government instructed them to do otherwise.

Thoughts?

14 COMMENTS

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Mohammed Albanai
Mohammed Albanai
6 years ago

a project thats late and delayed, contractors break the rules so they wont be fined for missing further milestones. QP should have a word with the main contractor and if they continue black ball them

Doha-Boro
Doha-Boro
6 years ago

Ha ha ha……what a surprise that nobody answered the hotline to report violations!! Why am I not surprised?!

Saleh
Saleh
6 years ago
Reply to  Doha-Boro

call them yourself now and find out

Doha-Boro
Doha-Boro
6 years ago
Reply to  Saleh

Saleh, I just did out of curiosity and they must still be out for lunch!!!

DavidRSS8
DavidRSS8
6 years ago

“Businesses that do not rearrange their employees’ schedules to adhere to the new timings could be closed for up to one month.”

If enforced, this will be a good deterrent.

Deepak Babu
Deepak Babu
6 years ago
Reply to  DavidRSS8

If Wishes were horses, beggars would ride. “If”

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

QP (following 2022 Bid team response to Bin Hamman) state, this has nothing to do with QP, we maintain in our contracts the highest ethical standards when it comes to human rights, this is an issue you need to take up with the contractor. Of course we want to accelerate the schedule and force the contractor to meeting its obligations by issuing large penalties for any delay but they need to do it while not working during the summer months. But we will still penalise them financially so they lose on the contract.

Desert Witch
Desert Witch
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Why am I not surprised.

Desert Witch
Desert Witch
6 years ago

A great start.
But now the rules need to be updated. Rather than rely on dates the ban should be enforced as soon as it hits 40 degrees . Summer temperatures are coming earlier each yr.
Does anyone know if this ban covers compound maintenance and Hiwash workers?

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

More deleted comments, Doha News is obviously under a lot of pressure from various ministries to remove sensitive comments and its members have probably been threatened with imprisonment. A sad day in Qatar.

Shabina921
Shabina921
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Please see above: Some comments may not be automatically published. This is not action taken by us, but instead, depending on whether or not you have verified your email address, or if your post triggers automatic flags.

Maher
Maher
6 years ago

Enforced well or not, complete or not, this is still a very good law. BBC, and just to show how vicious British media’s attacks on Qatar have become; have “Saudi Arabia introduces summer daytime working hours to protect its workers” on their front page. NO mention of Qatar whatsoever.

Desert Witch
Desert Witch
6 years ago
Reply to  Maher

Oh please. End the poor us attitude. The British press and media aren’t necessarily going for Qatar. They will chew up and spit out anything that is front page news. Doesn’t matter if it’s about Qatar, UK itself or outer Mongolia. If it will sell they will print it. That’s the only thing you need to know about 90% of the British press and media. There is nothing personal in it. If you raise your head above the parapet then you’re fair game in their eyes.

Riazat Butt
Riazat Butt
6 years ago

Is there any way for Doha News readers to contribute to this, as in, report violations of the midday work ban?

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