With the Christmas holidays fast approaching, the Labour Department of the Ministry of Labour and the Civil Service is reminding employers and employees of their responsibilities under the Shops Act Cap 356 A.

This would affect employees who may be expected to work overtime during the holidays and many part-time workers who could be employed as businesses cope with the long shopping hours of this festive season.

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 a shop assistant is any five days out of seven and any labour carried out on off days should be treated as overtime.

With regard to overtime, Ms. Lowe reminded employers that it 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, employees must not be penalised if they are unable to work past their normal working hours and overtime must be paid at no less than one and a half times the normal rate of pay,” the Chief Labour Officer pointed out.

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

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