Firms violating the midday work ban will be fined SAR 10,000 ($2,665) while some could be forced to shut down, the ministry said
About 1,225 firms were found to have violated the midday work ban in Saudi Arabia, according to a report by Arab News.
The kingdom, like other Gulf countries, has put in place a work ban during summer months when temperatures could potentially soar up to 50 degree celsius in the region.
Companies are prohibited from making their blue-collar workers carry out any tasks under direct sunlight from 12pm to 3pm in the afternoon. The ban came into effect on June 15 and will end on September 15.
Saudi Arabia’s ministry of labour said that it cracked down on firms violating the midday work ban through social media reports and complaints received through its customer service line.
Following inspections of these sites, the ministry said that it will penalise all companies that flouted the ban.
Violators will be fined SAR 10,000 ($2,665) while some companies could also be forced to shut down temporarily or permanently depending upon the gravity of violations.
Migrant workers from Asia and Africa have helped meet most of the Gulf’s demand for hard labour. However reports from international human rights groups have increasingly thrown the spotlight on less favourable conditions of these workers, prompting the GCC governments to enforce stricter labour regulations.
Recently the UAE, which also enforces the midday work ban during summer months, said that it found 30 firms violating the ban during the months of June and July. The violations were found following inspections by the UAE’s ministry of labour.
Authorities said that firms flouting the ban will be fined Dhs 5,000 per worker.
Firms could accrue as much as Dhs 50,000 in fines if more workers are found to be working during the banned period. The company’s profile could also be forwarded to the ministry, allowing officials to either reduce its classification level or stop its operations.