This is probably one situation which has long been resolved in some resorts whist others are still grappling with. From the boss’s perspective if a boss has 5 guys working under him and two guys are scheduled off and another is on vacation, for him that particular day aught to be hard because his team is 3 guys short. It becomes more interesting when team players swap their off days with working days to save pending days to make a short brief vacation back home. But is this justified? According to the law there is no provision for or against employees ‘saving’ days to add to their vacation. (see below) The relevant keyword in the labour law is “An employee required to work normal hours on a public holiday…” so a worker who is scheduled to be off on Friday can work on that day because he is not prohibited by law and the employer is not liable to pay the 1/1/2 day salary either.
It’s the productivity silly
Having to work with half the team will be a burden especially in places like kitchen and housekeeping in high occupancy but what matters is the productivity. Even if you have a houseful of over qualified super efficient team full time working like robots, the productivity may not match that of a dedicated happy team’s work. So it aught to be a balance of sticking to the routine and being flexible with pending off days for the workers. What we seem to lack in our in this situation is empathy. Most managers and other bosses get the opportunity to reunite with their family almost every other month so they do not seem to understand the heartache the youthful workers yearn to reunite with the family and friends, sometimes only separated by a few miles away in another island. They psychological affect of (working in resorts) being away from the family for one year can be discerned by the divorce and separation statistics for Maldives which only compares to the United States. The highest percentage of local workers are employed in tourism and this could be one factor which tears families apart.
Relevant clauses in labour law
Working on a public holiday
38. An employee required to work normal hours on a public holiday shall be paid at least an amount equivalent to half of the minimum wages earned on a normal day of work in addition to over time.
41(3) the employee shall be entitled to an extra day of leave for every working day in the normal course of events which is declared a public holiday while the employee is on annual leave.
41(e) The employer shall not give the employee salary in lieu of any leave entitled to an employee pursuant to Section 39 of this Act, except in the circumstances specified in sub-section c
(c) Any unused annual leave entitlement for which the employee has not been paid by the employer shall be paid to the employee prior to dismissal from employment.