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Will You Be Off? Egypt Considers Official Holidays During Heatwave

Though they haven't specified any details, a spokesperson of Egypt's Ministry of Manpower and Immigration has suggested they'll be calling mandatory days off, after 76 people have died from heat-related illnesses.

The Egyptian government could give official vacations to workers in certain fields due to the scorching heatwave affecting the Middle East, said Media Advisor to the Manpower and Immigration Ministry Haitham Saad Eddin on Thursday.

Even though the ministry did not specify which professions are included, Saad Eddin indicated that those most harmed are workers working directly under the sun in open areas, such as laborers.

Today, the Ministry of Health announced that 15 elder citizens died due to the heat wave, raising the total number of victims officially announced this week to 76. Moreover, 447 people were admitted to hospitals due to heat-related issues across the country on Wednesday.

Even though the Labour Law currently in force --No. 12 of 2003-- does not foresee an official leave for employees in cases of high temperatures as it happens in Gulf countries, Saad Eddin announced the measure could be taken in cases where employees are directly exposed to the sun.  

According to Labor leader Magdy Badawy, giving workers that work on streets leave is a “humanitarian” demand in light of the heatwave. The Head of the General Union for Private Sector Workers Shaaban Khalifa, however, doubted that the Minister would issue such a decision, alleging that the entity treats private sector workers as “second class citizens,” Egypt Independent reported.


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