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Working hours and rest days

The normal working hours of employees will be 45 hours a week excluding meal and tea breaks under the Shop and Office Act. The commencing and closing time will vary according to the needs of the organization.

. The normal working day on any of the week cannot exceed nine hours with one hour for lunch and tea interval (eight hours per day without interval).

. There has to be a short working day in each week consisting of not more than five hours of work.

. In the case of some employees the working day of eight hours can be spread over 12 hours with prior approval of the Commissioner of Labour.

. For every week a worker is entitled to 1-1/2 weekly holidays. These weekly holidays need not necessarily be on a Saturday and Sunday.

. The weekly holidays could be accumulated and taken within a month with prior permission from the Commissioner of Labour.

. A five-day week is possible, provided 45 hours is spread equally throughout the five working days.

. Employees who work on shifts shall report for and complete the work in accordance with the time shown on their rosters.

Salesman and canvassers

The provisions of the Act relating to hours of employment are not applicable to any person who is employed in or about the business of a shop or office such as:

. Travelling Salesman

. Canvasser

. Travelling Inspector

. Travelling agent

. Press photographer

. A reporter

Therefore, these employees may be required to work more than eight hours on any day and more than 45 hours in a week, without the payment of overtime.

Intervals for rest or for meals

They are, however, entitled to the weekly full holiday and to the weekly half-holiday in terms of the Act.

. If the period between the time at which any person employed in or about the business of a shop or office commences work on any day and the time at which he ceases work for that day includes the hours 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., that person shall be allowed an interval of one hour, commencing between those hours, for rest or a meal.

. Where such period includes the hours 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. that person shall be allowed an interval of half an hour, commencing between those hours, for rest or a meal.

. Where such period includes the hours 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. that person shall be allowed an interval of one hour commencing between those hours, for rest or a meal.

. Every person employed in or about the business of a shop or office shall, on each day on which he is so employed, be allowed an interval of half an hour for rest or a meal at the termination of each period of four hours during which he has been continuously employed.

. No Interval for rest or meal need be allowed if the employee is not employed for more than five hours on any one day. Therefore the hours of work on a weekly half – holiday could be from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and no interval need be granted.

Split – duty arrangements

(Alternative to continuous period of employment

. The period during which any person employed in or about the business of a shop or office shall consists of one continuous period without interruption other than such interval permitted for rest or meal under the Act. The exception to the rule is in respect of persons employed in or about the

* Business of any residential hotel

* Club

* Theatre

* Other place of entertainment

* Any shop at an airport or in an airline

* Any boarding house or hostel of any educational establishment.

In these instances, the eight-hour working day can be spread – over twelve hours provided there is one break not exceeding four hours inclusive of the one-hour meal interval.

Example: An employee who starts work at 8 a.m. can be given a four-hour interval at 11 a.m., resume work at 3 p.m. and terminate work at 7 p.m.

Rest days (weekly holidays)

Every person employed in or about the business of any shop or office shall, in respect of each week, during which he was worked for a total period not less than twenty – eight hours, exclusive of any period of overtime work, be allowed one whole holiday and one half – holiday with full remuneration.

One full rest day plus a shorter working day for manual workers.

Where the weekly holiday is not Sunday but some other day for any category, as determined by the Company, the HR Department shall prepare a roster before the commencement of the month in which the relevant rest days fall, informing the employee of the days appointed to be the rest day.

This should be done by the Department Head in consultation with the HR Department. This provision shall apply to the half day or shorter working days as well.

Payment of remuneration to a person who works less than the normal working hours

Where the weekly holiday is not Sunday but some other day for any category, as determined by the Company, the HR Department shall prepare a roster before the commencement of the month in which the remuneration payable for the normal working day.

Thus, if an employee comes late for work, an employer is entitled to deduct from the salary a proportionate amount in respect of deductions for late attendance. Such a deduction is not a punishment. It only means that the employer makes payment only for the hours actually worked.

Factories Ordinance

. The normal working day for factory workers in a nine-hour period inclusive of a one hour meal interval.

. There is no short working day for factory workers. In the case of women and children work has to be stop at 1.00 p.m. on one day of the week.

. The weekly holiday for factory workers is Sunday.

Wages Board Ordinance

. The normal working day on any day of the week cannot exceed nine hours inclusive of a meal interval of one hour.

. Some Wages Boards have allowed a short working day of 5, 5-1/2 or 6 hours during a week, which in most cases is on a Saturday.

It is only under the Wages Board that people under the Wages Board are given unpaid weekly holidays. In the case of the cinema trade where the weekly holiday is a paid holiday it is a fixed day between Monday and Friday.

Sunday is declared as a weekly holiday in several Trades. No decisions have been made regarding the weekly holiday in certain trades.

They are liquor and vinegar trade, Security Trade, Journalist trade, retail and wholesale trade.

In the following trades it has been decided to have any day by agreement between the employer and worker.

They are baking trade; motor transport trade and nursing home trade. In the aerated water, fruit juice and jam manufacturing trade any one day in the week shall be allowed a weekly holiday.

Under the Wages Board if employees work on a weekly holiday they are entitled to 1-1/2 day’s wages for the first eight hours and to overtime for the excess number of hours constituting a normal working day.

People who have worked 28 hours in a week exclusive of overtime work shall be entitled to 1-1/2 days weekly leave.

To compute 28 hours any day in which the employee had been on leave with pay shall be taken as a day worked.

As in other Acts the Laws weekly holidays are generally Saturday – half day and Sunday – Full day. However, in certain workplaces e.g. Hotels the 1-1/2 days weekly holiday is granted on consecutive days of the week.

The weekly leave can be allowed in that week or succeeding week with prior approval of the commissioner of Labour.

As in other Acts, if a Mercantile holiday falls on a weekly holiday, a day within seven days of such weekly holiday shall be allowed as the weekly holiday.

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