New 40-hour week raises some concerns

Dear Editor,

It would appear that the new Order imposing a 40- hour work week has raised some concerns, especially as it relates to overtime.

Overtime is paid in excess of the normal hours worked per day or week as defined by law or as stated in Collective Labour Agreements and may vary for different businesses.

Normally, a week is defined as a period of seven consecutive days, as against a ‘work week’ which means a week of work established by the practice of an employer or by legislation to mean any five days within a seven-day period.

So, for purpose of overtime, this will mean that where an employee works in excess of forty hours in any period of seven consecutive days, the employee will be paid overtime for each hour worked in excess of that forty hours.

If the current legislation defines the work week as Monday to Friday, then it will impose a very unfair position on businesses, especially the security services which are a 24 hours, seven days operation.

Under the Shops Act Saturdays and Sundays are considered as normal working days with overtime being paid in excess of 40 ¾ hours, so, obviously such change will definitely place these businesses at a disadvantage in terms of overtime.

I hope that this was not the intention of the new Order.

Yours faithfully,
D Sookdeo

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