As shopping for the Christmas holidays move into "full swing", the Labour Department of the Ministry of Labour is providing Barbadian employers and employees with a few guidelines during the festive season.

These guidelines would affect employees who may be expected to work overtime during this period and many part-time workers who could be employed as businesses cope with the long shopping hours.

The Labour Department is, therefore, reminding employers that while cooperation on overtime is expected, it is not compulsory.??

The rates for overtime apply to any work done after eight hours in a workday and more than five days in a workweek. In addition, these rates are one and a half times the normal figure and double pay on bank holidays.

Unless there are unforeseen circumstances, adequate notice should be given by employers of expected overtime and employees should give reasonable notice where assigned overtime cannot be met.

Employees are also 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 not be less than five dollars per hour and employers are reminded that the opening hours for shops are from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily.

Further information on these guidelines and the relevant legislation may be obtained by contacting the Labour Department, Warrens Office Complex, Warrens, St. Michael at, 310-1500.

All employers and employees are encouraged by the Ministry of Labour to exhibit fairness during the festive season.

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