Oman's manpower ministry praised for crackdown on midday break violators
July 13, 2016 | 10:10 PM
by Staff reporter

Muscat: Social workers, companies and residents of Oman have appreciated the Ministry of Manpower’s initiatives to reduce the number of mid-day break violations.

According to recent data from one of the ministry officials, only 170 companies were found violating the regulation out of the 1,376 inspections made between June 1 and July 10.

Companies in the Sultanate have changed their work timings to provide a mid-day break to their workers. The ministry’s moves to control the violation have succeeded to a great extent, according to Mohammad Osama Rawat, a social worker in Oman.

“If the authorities remain strict about the issue, then things will be much better in the coming years,” he said. “Still, they (outdoor workers) find it difficult to locate a proper place to rest and many of them have been resting under trees and bushes; so the ministry should do something to control this misery,” Rawat added.

“It clearly shows the initiatives of the Manpower Ministry are working and many companies are complying,” Tonia Gray, general manager of Competence HR told the Times of Oman.

The mid-day break is in place to reduce the potential damaging effects to the health of outdoor workers from high temperatures, Gray explained.

She also asked the public to report any violation if they found any through the hotline number.

“Workers would often feel at risk of losing their job if they reported any such violation so the general public should report any sightings of outdoor work being undertaken during the break period,” Gray emphasised.

Earlier, the Ministry of Manpower had told the Times of Oman that violations can be reported at 80077000.

According to the doctors in Sultanate, people should avoid going out between 12 pm and 3 pm.

“The mid-day break is something that is very essential as the heat is hovering around 45 degrees these days,” Pradeep Kumar, a construction worker in Darsait said.

“We feel drained out before 12 nowadays,” he added.

“It is very essential to give a break to the outdoor workers as the mercury’s level is getting higher,” Mathew John, a resident of Muscat, noted.

The rule, which is effective from June 1 until the end of August, bans work at outdoor sites between 12.30pm and 3.30pm when the summer heat is at its peak.

According to the Article 118 of the Oman Labour Law, violators can be penalised with fines ranging from OMR100 to OMR500, or a jail term of not more than one month, or both. The penalty is doubled for repeat violations.

Temperatures in Oman are expected to gradually decrease during this week, Oman’s Meteorological Department said.

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