Liberia: Labor Ministry Expresses Concerns on ‘Excessive Working’ Hours

Assistant Labour Minister for Standards, Atty. Welma B. Sampson

Monrovia – Assistant Labour Minister for Standards, Atty. Welma B. Sampson has expressed serious concern over the progressive increase of working hours by commercial institutions including supermarkets and Pharmacies without considering the normal hours of work set aside by the Decent Work Act.

According to Minister Sampson, if commercial institutions must increase their working hours to increase productivity and economic growth, they must consider creating a decent work environment for employees and reduce the unemployment rate by operating on a shift basis where the duration of the normal working hours will not exceed 48 hours in a week.

Assistant Minister Sampson says excessive hours of work undermine workers’ health and safety.

She added that there should be a limitation of working hours and provision of adequate periods for rest and recuperation, including weekly rest and paid annual leave as enshrined in the Decent Work Act need to adhere. 

Minister Sampson maintained that those involved must stop as her division will ensure effective enforcement of the provisions concerning working hours and breaks by means of adequate inspection and subsequent sanctions for a violation in keeping with existing labor laws of the country. She made the observation recently during her routine inspections of supermarkets at the Oldroad, Joe Bar Market in Sinkor.