Shop owners have been reminded that there are specific guidelines to be followed for general operations and overtime periods this Christmas season. (FILE)
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The Labour Department is reminding shop owners and staff, especially in the distributive sector, that there are specific guidelines to be followed for general operations and overtime periods this Christmas season.
In December, businesses classified as shops, under the Shops Act, are usually open for extended periods. Shop owners are therefore reminded that while co-operation regarding their overtime requests is expected, it is not compulsory for employees to work extended shifts.
Additionally, reasonable notice should be given to employees who are asked to work additional hours, unless the requests are made in unforeseen circumstances. Employees should also be guided by this practice, when assigned periods of overtime work cannot be performed by them.
Business owners are also reminded that employees are entitled to two off days per week; and are also permitted a lunch break after four-and-a-half hours of work on a given day.
To ensure the proper allocation of wages during the yuletide season, employers and staff should be mindful of the stipulations governing overtime pay.
Overtime rates apply for any work done after eight hours in a normal work day, or more than five days and 40 hours in a work week. As the legislated rate of pay for a shop assistant is $6.25 per hour, the rate of one and a half times (1½) is therefore applied as overtime payment.
Shop assistants are entitled to be paid double their normal rate of pay, if they are required to work on an allotted off day, or on a public holiday.
In addition, employers are especially reminded that Christmas Day is a closed public holiday. Therefore, a licence must first be obtained from the Chief Labour Officer, in order to open for business on that day.
For further information on the licence application process, and other queries, persons may call the Labour Department at 535-1500. (BGIS)