In The Bahamas, employees who work in a managerial or supervisory position do not receive overtime pay. There are different requirements for notice and pay if you terminate these employees or make them redundant. Further, if they successfully challenge their dismissal as wrongful, they may not receive more than 24 months of pay as an award. All of these differences between managers and other employees mean that employers should determine which of their employees qualify as managers or supervisors under the law.
The Employment Act frequently refers to some employees as “managers” and “supervisors” without defining the terms. Some employers may find themselves wondering whether a particular employee who only spends part of his time managing or supervising really qualifies as a manager or supervisor. This question could be very important, for example, if an employer does not have to pay overtime for hours worked in excess of forty in a week or eight in a day. Bahamian courts have not addressed this question in detail.
The term manager is commonly defined as an employee who is “responsible for controlling or administering an organization or group of staff”. The term supervisor is commonly defined as an employee who “supervises a person or an activity”. “Supervise” means to “observe and direct the execution of a task or activity” or to “observe and direct the work of another person”. In other words, managers control, direct, and oversee, and supervisors oversee and direct, the work of an organization or of specific employees.
As the Bahamian courts interpret the overtime requirements and other legal differences accorded to managers and supervisors, they may look to the laws of other countries to determine who should be considered a manager or supervisor and therefore not entitled to overtime pay. Managers also must have the ability to hire and fire, or their suggestions as to hiring, firing, and discipline must be given particular weight. As a result, managers who spend some of their time doing other duties still may not qualify to receive overtime.
To find out more about employment law in The Bahamas, visit Gonsalves-Sabola Chambers online or call the office at +1 242 326 6400.
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