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Sri Lankan Law Forum » Employment Law Forum » Working Hours and Overtime

Working Hours and Overtime

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1 Working Hours and Overtime on Fri Oct 20, 2017 9:04 pm

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Employees who are occupied in an office or shop will be administered by the Shop and Office Employees (Regulation of Employment and Remuneration) Act No. 19 of 1954 (“SOEA”).

Working Hours

As per the SOEA regulation, the common time period of employment (exclusive of rest and meal breaks) will be as follows:

A time period that does not go beyond eight hours a day
A time period that does not go beyond 45 hours a week
The worker is allowed to a meal or rest break of half an hour at the expiration of any period of four hours of continual employment that is commonly translated into a meal and rest break of an hour each day. No meal or rest break will be permissible if the employee is not engaged in work for over five hours on any given day.

Therefore, the requirements of the SOEA and the Regulations are not applicable to any individual employed in or regarding the trade of an office or shop as a travelling salesperson, investigator, supervisor, manager or in any related faculty. Consequently such workers may be obligated to work more than eight hours a day and/or 45 hours per week devoid of any claim to overtime. Conversely, such workers will however be permitted to weekly holidays as stated by the SOEA.

In general practice, administrative female staff who are occupied in work hours in infringement of such limitations exclusive of permit provided that sufficient amenities are offered, for example, meals, travelling, etc.

Overtime

Overtime will be due to be paid where a worker is necessitated to work beyond the prescribed hours of working. The SOEA regulation confines overtime to 12 hours per week. This restriction however is not strictly imposed.

Additionally, in practice, administrative staff are not salaried overtime on the foundation that such employees are not salaried relative to the hours worked but for the fulfillment of responsibilities and occupations that are related to the relevant designations.

Wherever appropriate, overtime is to be paid at one and a half times the hourly charge and an amount in proportion for less than an hour. The procedure for the calculation of overtime is illustrated below:

Payment on a daily charge- 1/8 of the daily fee
Payment on a monthly charge- 1/8 of the monthly fee that is divided by 30
Payment on a fortnightly charge- 1/8 of the fortnightly fee that is divided by 14
Payment on a weekly charge- 1/8 of the weekly fee that is divided by 7

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