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Posted On: 10 June 2009 09:25 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:09 pm

Firms falling in line on summer working hours

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Companies have effected changes in working hours in line with government regulations on summer working hours for construction workers. Restriction on construction work take effect from June 15. While at many sites, workers can still be seen at 1pm, some firms have restricted working hours to 11.30am. Such employers prefer evening hours. Gulf Times found that some major contractors have cut short their noon working hours and are allowing workers to relax until sunset so they can resume work in the evening. A project manager of a company, with sites in several areas of the city and suburbs said they had experimented with this strategy last year and results were good. “The output from labourers was certainly more even though it was a little costly for our company,” he said. The official said his company had to spend more on fuel and overtime allowance while engaging workers for evening duty last summer. “However, most workers had no objection to working late in the evenings,” he said. Concrete work, cementing and plastering can be performed better in the evenings and hence the company has completed some of its major projects ahead of schedule, said the official. However, certain work like excavation and laying cables can be done only during the day time and workers have no other way out, explained another official of a Japanese firm which is laying cables for one of the country’s electricity largest projects in Umm Salal. “However, these days we ensure that no work is done after 12 noon,” he said. The official said the company will follow government guidelines strictly once it formally comes into effect and may advise contractors to reduce working hours. One of his colleagues said workers had complained about working even at 11am in the last week of May owing to unprecedented temperatures. “However, this month is somewhat better,” he said. One of the main hurdles that most contractors face on rescheduling timings is the insistence on deadlines. “The inability to meet deadlines not only denies the contractor access to further contracts but also invite huge fines,” said a project engineer at a West Bay site.