As the 2007 yuletide season approaches, Government’s Labour Department is reminding Barbadian employers and employees of their responsibilities under the Shops Act Cap 356 A.

This legislation would affect those employees who may be expected to work overtime during this period, and many part-time workers who could be employed as businesses cope with extended shopping hours.

Chief Labour Officer, Edla Lowe, explained that, under the legislation, the minimum wage for shop assistants is five dollars per hour whether under or over 18 years old.  In addition, she pointed out that a work week for shop assistant is any five days out of seven and any labour done on off days should be treated as overtime.

Mrs. Lowe also reminded employers that overtime was not compulsory and payment was accrued after eight hours in any day, excluding the lunch hour.

“First and foremost, adequate notice must be given of any request to work overtime; and employees must not be penalised if they are unable to work past their normal working hours.  All overtime must be paid at not less than one and a half times the normal rate of pay,” the Chief Labour Officer pointed out.

She also encouraged “all employers and employees to exhibit reasonableness during the festive season”. 

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