Calls to implement summer working hours in Qatar

May 16, 2011

An early rise in temperature levels in Qatar has triggered calls for an immediate implementation of summer working hours for labourers working outdoors.

Summer working hours, fixed by the Labour Department, are usually applied between June 15 and August 31.

Under the midday work ban, all companies are bound to reschedule their working hours giving a noon break for outdoor workers from 11.30 to 3.30pm.

Several other Gulf countries implement similar timings to help open air workers avoid the scorching heat of the two hottest months. With the current early rise in temperature levels, many workers face the danger of being exposed to extreme heat.

However, most companies are not prepared to implement the summer working hours and they are not legally bound to do it one month ahead of schedule, Qatari daily The Peninsula reports.

Many nationals and residents, on the other hand, feel that companies must not wait until June 15 to reschedule the timing and should instead respond to the sudden changes in the weather conditions.

“It is a good move by the Labour Ministry to fix the summer timings. However, companies should take care not to risk lives of the workers by exposing them to high temperature these days,” a Qatari national said. “They should be asked to give a sufficient noon break, whenever the temperature goes up beyond normal levels,” the unidentified Qatari told The Peninsula.

The country has been witnessing high temperatures over the past few days, leading to predictions that the summer is going to be hotter this year. The temperature rose up to 46 degrees Celsius on Thursday, falling by two degrees on Friday, settling at 44 degrees at the maximum.

It fell to 43 degrees on Saturday, but is expected to rise to 45 degrees on Sunday. “This May is hotter compared to last May and the summer is also expected to be hotter than lat year’s,” said a forecaster at the Meteorology Department.

“Temperature is expected to fall again by about two degrees tomorrow only to rise again after a couple of days. Such fluctuations could continue throughout the month, but the weather in general is expected to be hotter this time,” he said.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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