The Labour Department is encouraging all employers and employees to be aware of the employment and overtime guidelines during this holiday season.

While cooperation on overtime is expected, overtime is not compulsory.

In unforeseen circumstances, reasonable notice should be given by employers of expected overtime. In turn, employees should also give reasonable notice where assigned overtime cannot be met.

Overtime rates also apply to any work done after eight hours in a work day or more than five days in a work week. Employees are entitled to two days off per week and a lunch break after four and-a-half hours of work each day.

The wage rate paid to shop assistants must be at least $6.25 per hour and the rate for overtime is one and-a-half times the normal rate and double pay for public holidays.

According to the amendments made to the Shops Act, working hours begin at 7:00 a.m. on Mondays and run until 10:00 p.m. on Sundays. However, for a business to have employees working between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m., employers must apply for a night certificate from the Chief Labour Officer.

For more information on these guidelines, persons may contact the Labour Department at 310-1500, or email

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