Due to the upcoming holidays, certain companies may use their staff 11 to 13 hours a day to do work. To this end, the Ministry of Labor has issued a General Overtime Permit that applies to shops, bakeries and some catering establishments. This allows these companies to respond to the expected crowds around Christmas and New Year. The Ministry is aware of the need of companies in certain sectors for longer working hours in this period of the year.
The General Overtime Permit covers the period from December 16 to December 30, with the exception of days 19, 20, 25, 26, and 27 December 2020. During this period, it is permitted to staff the employees of shops, cafes , and restaurants to work for a maximum of eleven hours a day, while employees of bread and pastry bakeries are allowed to work for up to thirteen hours a day.
If the employer during this period ‘shift work’ prevails over ‘overtime’, he must, however, have written “Approval of Working Hours Scheme” from the head of the Labor Inspectorate. Shift work or shift work means that the employer lets his employees work in shifts. In that case, the staff may not work longer than 8.5 hours a day or 48 hours a week.
The Ministry would like to emphasize that the General Overtime Permit is not a license to employers to act in contravention of the provisions relating to overtime pay. For overtime, at least one and a half times the fixed wage must be paid. If companies have a specific overtime permit for Sundays and / or public holidays, they must pay their employees at least twice the fixed wage.