Most employees are illegally denied overtime and other benefits due to them on the basis that their job titles carry the term manager or simply because they belong to the category of managers in terms of their employer’s organisational structures.
Organisational structures provide a depiction of how the organisation is made up in terms of its human resources. This is usually in the form of a hierarchy where you would have distinct levels under various departments. For every department or division, there is a department manager or supervisor, and there are various privileges at their disposal, namely overseeing the work of others, having to answer for the work of those under their supervision and reporting any misconduct.
Now, when we come to the Employment Act, certain provisions do not apply to every employee. These are rest periods, holidays and general conditions of work. The category of employees on whom these provisions do not apply to are managers, executives, professional staff, or people of the same or similar status. Of all the positions stated, there is a massive misconception as to who is considered a manager in this context, in particular with reference to them being required to work overtime which is not paid for. This article will clear the mist surrounding this.
In the Employment Act, Part VIII speaks to rest periods, hours of work, holidays and other conditions of work. In a nutshell, Part VIII clearly outlines all the entitlements to employees with reference to hours of work, holidays and related payments.
According to Section 2(4) of the Employment Act, “The provisions of Part VIII shall not apply in the case of an employee who falls into a category of persons commonly known as managers, administrators or executives or as professional staff or into some other category of persons of the same or a similar status.” This can surely mean that every manager we know is covered by this section, right? Not entirely so. A comparison between a supervisor and manager will be used to determine which employees fall under this category because that is where the confusion normally lies.
A manager in the context of Section 2(4) of the Employment Act is not defined with reference to a title of an employee’s position, for example, Operations Manager.
A manager in this context is a person in a position of control without any restrictions, also known as manager at law. A manager at law has the power to employ, discipline and dismiss employees in the organisation. In the case of supervisors, they cannot perform these functions without the intervention of the HR Department. They are restricted by existing company policies and procedures. Furthermore, a manager at law has the power to prepare budgets within the organisation. Supervisors, on the other hand, can only comment on and implement the budgets handed to them.
A manager at law has control over their working hours, this is to say they can decide when to report for work and when to leave. A supervisor, on the other hand, is governed by the stipulated hours of work. Lastly, a manager at law can modify staff assignments at work but supervisors can only request for amendments to be made on existing employee or subordinates’ job profiles.
The term manager on an employee’s job title does not equate to a manager at law. Before you deny an employee the provisions under Part VIII of the Employment Act, such as overtime, confirm whether they are managers or supervisors. As an employee, before you are denied your rights, it would be best for you to establish whether you are indeed a manager at law.
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