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Question: I have been working in a private company for two years. Last year, the employer asked me to postpone my annual leave due to the large volume of work in the company. Recenlty, I applied for annual leave, but the employer again asked me to postpone my annual leave. My question is: Does the employer have the right to postpone my annual leave more than once? Does the employer have the right to force me to work overtime, and how is the overtime calculated? Please advise

Answer: As per Article 29 of the New Labour Law, the employer may request the employee to postpone his annual leave according to work requirements but he may not prevent the employee from benefiting from his annual leave accrued for more than two years, unless the worker accepts. The mentioned Article states: “The worker shall obtain his leave in its entitlement year and the employer may specify the dates of these leaves according to work requirements and in agreement with the worker, or grant them alternately among the establishment’s workers, in order to secure its work progress.

"The employer shall notify the worker of the specified date for his leave within a sufficient time of not less than a month. The employer may not prevent the worker from benefiting from his annual leave accrued for more than two years, unless the worker wishes to carry it forward or receive a cash allowance for it, in accordance with the regulations in force at the establishment and the Implementing Regulation hereof...”

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What about overtime?

As per Article 19 of the law, “The employer may instruct the worker to work overtime over the normal working hours, provided that they do not exceed two hours per day. The worker may not be instructed to work for more than that period. In all cases, the total working hours shall not exceed 144 hours every three weeks.”

If the work conditions necessitate that the worker works for more than the normal working hours, the excess period shall represent overtime, for which the worker shall receive a wage equal to the wage corresponding to the normal working hours, which is calculated according to the basic wage plus an increase of not less than 25 per cent of that wage.

And if the work conditions require that the worker works overtime between 10pm and 4am, the worker shall be entitled, regarding the overtime, to receive the wage prescribed for the normal working hours calculated according to the basic wage plus an increase of not less than 50 per cent of that wage.

The workers working based on shifts shall be excluded from this clause. If the circumstances require that the worker works on the weekend specified in the employment contract or work regulation, he shall be compensated with another day off or he shall be paid the wage of that day according to the wage established for normal working days, plus an increase of not less than 50 per cent of the basic wage for that day. A worker shall not be instructed to work for more than two consecutive weekend days, except for day workers.