Do people who work on public holidays rightly deserve compensation?

Not all employees!It’s certainly a hasty period towards the festive period with everyone rushing to clear their desk early enough to enjoy as many days off as possible. This is the time when those working for NGOs are greatly envied by those employed in profit making companies.

Not all employees!

It’s certainly a hasty period towards the festive period with everyone rushing to clear their desk early enough to enjoy as many days off as possible. This is the time when those working for NGOs are greatly envied by those employed in profit making companies.

As a friend of mine, bemoaned on Facebook the other day; she is scheduled to read the TV news bulletin on Christmas Day in the afternoon, imagine! As her family gets along with the deep fried chicken and soda, poor girl will be flipping papers trying to keep us updated.

On the other hand, another friend who is employed by a popular NGO around town was given a generously long holiday which starts on the 10th December2011, and ends on 10th January 2012!

I agree that any employee dreams of such a holiday or at least, a fat compensation package when they are kept at work during the holidays. But when neither is given, what can someone do? Every company has its own policies and all employees apply for jobs willingly. If you land a job that offers generous holidays, good for you, if you get one that is determined to suck all your sweat out, sorry but, abide or quit.

It is advisable that before you even apply for a job, read the contract before you sign; it contains what the company expects of you, your benefits and rights. Although I think its just a few companies that don’t compensate employees who work during holidays, some of them are actually very bold and will notify employees not to expect compensations for working on public holidays.

Therefore, if you don’t read those things, you will be shocked out of your socks when you don’t receive the compensation you expected when you work on Christmas Day!

On the other hand, if you read and understand a company’s policy during the festive season, then you will have the option to stay or simply to look for another job.

And it’s not like these companies lack the justification to deny compensations to those who “work harder.” As long as the national labor laws don’t recognize this type of compensation, business owners will always determine how to treat their employees; and as long as they still abide by existing laws, then they can’t be sued or blamed for only providing the minimum of what is required.

Let’s face it, the economy is getting more competitive every passing day; employers seek to make as much profit as possible while employees also seek to earn as much as possible.

Therefore for both parties to be satisfied, they must seat on a roundtable and try to reach an understanding. Some employers will promise compensations for working on public holidays whereas others will articulate it clearly that everyday is a working day. This means that an employee will have the chance to think twice before they sign a contract.

The only unacceptable behaviour, which is even considered illegal, is when an employer fails to provide compensation benefits when it is spelled out as a right in the employee’s contract.

Other than that, if somebody signs to work for a company that is blind to compensations, they shouldn’t cry foul if they weren’t forced to work there.

Ivan.mugisha@newtimes.co.rw
@RushAfrican on Twitter

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