Although the revised Shops Act 2015 makes provisions for shop owners to open Monday to Sunday from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., proprietors are reminded that if they want to open their establishments after 11:00 p.m., they must apply to the Chief Labour Officer (CLO) for a certificate.
Labour Officer, Khama Salankey-Burke, made this point clear recently during her presentation on the Shops Act during the Labour Department’s free labour seminars in the Warrens Office Complex.
She told participants that once the application is made to the CLO, labour officers would conduct their own investigations before the application is denied or accepted.
“The things we are going to look for when you submit your application to open after 11:00 p.m. are: if there is provision for adequate transportation; are you going to provide transportation for employees free of cost; will there be adequate meals; and if there is adequate security in place. Once we are satisfied, then you will be granted permission,” Mrs. Salankey-Burke pointed out.
The Labour Officer also advised business owners of the four closed business days under the Shops Act. They are Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Independence Day and Christmas Day.
However, Mrs. Salankey-Burke explained that shops at the Grantley Adams International Airport and the Bridgetown Port, as well as some retail stores, were exempt.
“We will grant you permission to open; we call it an application to open a shop. There are times when businesses from Limegrove and Bridgetown, if it is a public holiday and a cruise ship is in, would normally be granted by law four to four-and-a-half hours on that day to facilitate business,” she explained.
The Labour Officer also touched on the stipulated working hours under the Shop’s Act and the importance of giving adequate notice to employees about changes to be made to their hours of work.