Mid-day work ban enforced in Bahrain


The law stipulates that workers should not be labouring in the "direct sun or in open areas", between noon and 4pm.

Labour Minister Dr Majeed Al Alawi issued an order yesterday, enforcing a Cabinet decision which bans outdoor work during the hottest hours of the day in July and August.

The Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, on June 24 banned construction and other outdoor work between noon and 4pm during this month and next month.

The decision was published in the Official Gazette last Thursday, making it law – but there was confusion last week over whether it was actually in force. The ministerial order issued yesterday authorised Labour Ministry Under-Secretary Shaikh Abdulrahman bin Abdulla Al Khalifa to implement the decision.

Shaikh Abdulrahman urged all companies to abide by the law, which he said would be strictly enforced from today.

"Labour inspectors will step up visits to construction sites to ensure companies are complying with the new law," he told the GDN.

"Those who defy it will be dealt with according to Article 165 of the Labour Law for the private sector.

"Under the article, companies will be fined a minimum of BD50 and a maximum of BD300 for each employee working during the banned hours."

Shaikh Abdulrahman said the Cabinet decision was in line with Article 92 of the Labour Law, regarding the health of workers at workplaces and protecting them from occupational diseases.

"Companies which allow people to work in uncovered places between 12 noon and 4pm would be strictly dealt with," he added.

"Companies are also expected to display a copy of the ministerial order in a visible place at their establishments in Arabic as well as in a language understood by the majority of the expatriate workers."

Contractors had earlier suggested some amendments to the law, which initially said companies should start work at 7am but stop at 12noon and resume only at 4pm.

A delegation from the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry, including board member and contractors’ committee chairman Samir Nass, met Shaikh Abdulrahman two weeks ago to point out difficulties in implementing the law.

Shaikh Abdulrahman said the Cabinet’s decision stemmed from the government’s concern for the health and safety of workers.

"The law does not insist companies start work only at 7am," he noted.

"The companies now have the flexibility to have straight working hours by starting early.

" But they will not be allowed now to engage people for outdoor work between noon and 4pm."

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *