Employment law is the legislative framework governing the relationship between an employer and an employee. In Saint Lucia the law guarantees employees certain basic rights and protections.
The answer is, it depends. The general rule is that, excluding overtime, you cannot be made to work more than 8 hours a day or 40 hours during any week.
However, there are two main exceptions to this. The 40-hour work week rule will not apply to you if you are in a management position in your job or if are a hospitality worker.
If you are a hospitality worker you can be made to work more than 40 hours a week but you cannot be forced to work more than 80 hours during any fortnight.
Every worker is guaranteed a day of rest per week and the employer cannot force you to rest on a day of his choosing. So, it is up to you to make it clear in your employment contract exactly when it is that your rest day will be.
If you have been in your current job for five years or less you are entitled to 14 working days vacation every year. After five years on the job you qualify for 21 working days paid leave. If there is a public holiday while you are on vacation it must not be counted when computing your vacation days.
As a rule, you are entitled to 2 days sick leave without the need to present a medical certificate. However, if you have taken more than 12 sick days in one year, your boss can insist that you produce a medical certificate the next time you fail to show up for work.
Furthermore, if you have been habitually absent from work on “sick leave” your boss may demand a medical certificate even if you have taken less than 12 total sick days in that year.
Female employees are entitled to at least 13 weeks maternity leave, no less than 6 weeks before confinement and no less than 6 weeks after giving birth.
You may be asked to work two consecutive shifts in case of emergency or if your scheduled replacement fails to turn up for work, but you must be given a minimum of 8 hours rest after after the end of the second shift.
Once you boss requires you to work more than 8 hours per day or 40 hours per week you are entitled to receive overtime pay. If you work overtime on Sundays, public holidays or on your day off (if you are a shift worker) you must be paid double pay, and pay and a half for overtime on a normal workday.
It is permissible for you to be paid for overtime worked by receiving time off from work, if you agree.