As Christmas approaches, Barbadians are being reminded to pay attention to labour laws and to implement these practices.

According to Labour Officer, Yvette Walcott-Dennis, "the Labour Department has recognised that the holiday season is not only about good cheer but also lots of hard work, longer opening hours and, ultimately, overtime. Therefore, we are asking employers and employees, particularly those in the distributive sector, to be aware of labour legislation and guidelines at this time."

She explained while overtime was expected, it was not compulsory.?? Barring unforeseen circumstances, employers should give their staff reasonable notice of expected overtime. In turn, employees should also give reasonable notice when overtime requirements cannot be met.

Overtime pay should be implemented for any work done after eight hours of a working day or for more than five days in a work week.?? The rate for overtime is calculated at one and a half times the normal rate, whereas, it is double pay on public holidays.

Ms. Walcott-Denis also pointed out that, that according to the Shops Act, Cap 356 A, Shop Assistants must not be paid less than $5 per hour.

Furthermore, employees are entitled to two days off per week and a lunch break after four and a half hours of work each day, while Shop Assistants are allowed one hour for lunch.

The Labour Officer said the department also wished to remind employers that the opening hours for shops were from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily.??

Persons seeking further information on labour legislation are asked to contact the Labour Department at 310-1500.??


Author: Shamkoe Pil??

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