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Inspectors find 250 laborers working during banned hours
Inspectors find 250 laborers working during banned hours

RIYADH: The Ministry of Labor in the Makkah region found 250 laborers working on various construction projects during restricted hours of the day.
Punitive measures will be taken against the employers of these workers.
According to a ministerial decree, laborers should abstain from working between noon and 3 p.m. due to the scorching sun during the period from Shaban 28 (June 15), to the beginning of Dhul Hijjah (Sept. 14), spanning 93 days.
Abdullah Al-Olayan, director of the department of labor in Makkah, said that an inspection team from his department detected these violations during its field trips to construction sites and open-area work projects.
He said every year, this rule comes into effect to provide a safe working environment and avoid the risks of working in such conditions. He pointed out that the ministerial decision to bar work under the sun also helps companies to increase worker output.
The government decision also states that daily working hours must not exceed eight hours on the morning or night shifts, and that overtime should be paid to those working additional hours in a 24-hour period.
Laborers must not work at all during the banned hours if they usually work in the open, it added.
Companies which violate the midday summer break will face penalties. Offenders will have the classification of their firms downgraded by the ministry or face permanent closure, and will be fined between SR3,000 and SR10,000 per case.
Members of the public have been requested to report any such irregularity by companies in their respective regions to the toll-free number 9911.
Hani Mufi, a member of the National Committee for Contractors in the Council of Saudi Chambers, said that changing the working hours from day to night during summer made some companies reorganize the project sites to allow for a safe and efficient work environment.
Mufi said the ministry has allowed employees to work on other activities during the daytime in shaded and air-conditioned locations, provided these activities are run by the original employer. When seeking to employ workers for night shifts, they must be provided with overtime pay, which further increases project costs, he said.
“Naturally, projects lose out on the benefits of daytime work during these three months, and if the project timeframe requires up to two or three years, contractors lose out on six to nine months of efficient daytime labor, which in turn creates additional problems and delays for the projects,” he said.
Mufi said that one of the main aspects that requires more effective communication with government agencies is the issue of government project delivery committees, which only work during the daytime and rarely work at night. As a result, this limits the availability of specialists, engineers and laborers to take note of certain issues during the project delivery stage and creates additional delays.

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