Christmas day is no holiday for Sunday, shift workers

| 06/12/2011

images_29.jpg(CNS): While everybody may be thinking that Sunday 25 December is a holiday, the Department of EmploymentRelations has a very different take and says Christmas Day is not in fact a holiday at all. Officials from the government job department said that because Christmas Day and Boxing Day are being observed on Monday, 26 December, and Tuesday, 27 December, respectively employees who normally work on Sundays do not need to be paid double time on 25 December (Christmas Day) if they normally work Sundays. The day is not considered to be a public holiday and is a normal work day, the DER stated. As the rest of Cayman settles down to some Christmas beef and festive turkey, Sunday employees and shift workers will be hard at work for no extra cash.

Employees who work on the Monday or Tuesday, however, will be entitled to double time for the hours worked on those days, the agency reminded employers. The DER also said the same applies to New Year’s Day, which also falls on a Sunday but which is a normal day, despite being 1 January, as the holiday falls on Monday, 2 January.

For further clarification and guidance, please contact the Department of Employment Relations at 945-3114.

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  1. Bushwacker says:

    So much for implementing austere cost saving measures! This recent act is sound evidence that the Civil Service is following McKeeva’s lead by taking any and every advantage of the Public’s purse whenever possible.  


    This numb skull act will undoubtedly cost the islands and businesses hundreds of thousands of dollars in wages and lost revenue. These jokers can change Christmas but the Metal Midgets cannot change to daylight savings time!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Christmas is Christmas no matter what day it falls on. Who do they think they are by telling people that it's otherwise. This GOV is so screwed up it's getting harder everyday to see myself here in the near future. Now their messing with Gods work!

    • Just Commentin' says:

      Huh??? I agree with you that government is screwed up; but how is the Christmas holiday "God's work"? Unless I missed some fine print in the Bible, the Sabbath was the only no-work "holiday" that God decreed; methinks that Christmas as a holiday is the work of man, not God.

  3. Anonymous says:

    The weekday holidays were put in place to compensate employees that don't work on the weekends.  This year the Christmas holiday falls on the weekend, so we have weekday holidays to compensate those who don't work on the weekends.  A holiday is a date on the calendar and should be observed, especially since it is a Christian holiday and falls on a Sunday, another religious observance in this pious community. This is once again a show of contradiction in policies.  The DER are enabling employers to be unfair to their employees.  And I agree with the comments that it is mostly the lower paid wage earners that will suffer as usual.  This is setting the precedent for Third World Labour Policies which Cayman needs to stay away from to correct the present economic situation.

    • Mushroom 1 says:

      Fine with me, I am all for having the holiday be on the actual date. Then employers won’t have to pay…let me see…um…YOU!

      I spent over a decade in F&B here. I never got Christmas, New Years, Easter, etc. off. It is part of the job. If Christmas was on Monday, what, then it would be okay, just plain silly.

    • Anonymous says:

      The DER is just advising the public what the Legal Department has ruled. The DER does not write the laws they are just charged with enforcing them and the Legal Deparment interprets the laws. Its just a shame that the public always engages their mouth and pen without their brain

  4. Gov't Strikes again! says:

    I'm so glad I've finally finished doing shift work – espically in this country.

    Christmas Day is observed as Christmas Day on the 25th December & Boxing Day on the 26th.  However as this day is deemed to be a public holiday and you cannot have a public holiday on a weekend a 'substitute public holiday' is observed in the rest of Britain & the BOT's. 

    Here in Cayman no one should be celebrating Christmas on the 25th by this logic shown to us by the Government as Christ's Birthday is being observed on the 26th & boxing day on the 27th.

    Next I'll get to observe my Birthday in 15 years time so as not to get any older in that time.

  5. Anonymous says:

    The DER said person worked on those days will be entitled to double hours; so i am assuming that the organisations on this islands that tell you that you will be given time in lieu and not cash, will be giving the time in lieu at the double hours and not the regular hours that they do all the time for public holidays.

    I hope one particular government authority is paying attention to this.

  6. Tip of the Iceberg says:

    My waiter asked me for a tip the other evening. "Get a better job" I told him.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Kudos to the DER for making this point clear from the get go. Very encouraging and proactive work!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Interesting though how the hotels raise their rates x3 over the Christmas holiday season, but don't share their profits with their workers!

    • Mushroom 1 says:

      Okay, here is how it works:
      When demand is high, prices go up.
      Demand is high at Christmas.
      By your logic staff should pay mgt in August.

  9. Mushroom 1 says:

    Anyone who works in tourism and/or hospitality knows that this is just part of the drill. I work hospitality, and I will get paid for Christmas and Boxing Day, albeit not on the actual dates. If you want off weekends, Holidays, etc. pick another line of work.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Deplorable. Victorian attitude that shows up Cayman. Everyone knows 99% of those affected are the low paid on work permits. Pathetic

  11. Anonymous says:

    Interesting. So why are the hotels and restaurants putting up prices on Christmas day and claiming it is due to "Staff costs and overtime"?

    • Truthseeker says:

      Care to give an actual example? That would be news to me in Cayman.

      • Anonymous says:

        Not sure if the reason is due to "staff costs" but the Ritz Carlton always puts up thier Brunch price on Christmas day, New Years day, easter etc – normal price approx $95 (inc champagne & grats) holiday price $125 (not inc champagne)

        • Truthseeker says:

          Thanks for the response,

          I can pretty much guarantee you that is the result of supply and demand. Christmas week is perhaps the peak demand for visitors to our shores. They charge what they think they can get. Before you condemn this, think about the "off season" rates we less affluent folks try to take advantage of. If it were not for the more affluent folks taking their "peak season" vacations, in a competitive world, the resort would go out of business. It is their facility to offer, and yours to accept (or not).

          There are usually upwards of ten other public holiday events each year, and I doubt the Ritz, or any other Cayman hospitality business adjusts their prices to try to cover this.


  12. Anonymous says:

    How Sad. I dont think that there is anyone that needs to have their staff come in on Christmas Day… and to call ourselves a Christian Community.. What is our Dep. Premier saying of all this?

    • Anonymous says:

      Christmas is a pagan tradition appropriated by Christians.

    • Anonymous says:



      Bah humbug 🙂

    • Truthseeker says:


      The hospital(s)





      Air traffic control?

      Gas stations?




      The entire hospitality industry,

      Etc. etc. etc.  …………..Oh wait, I get it, you were making a sarcastic comment!




      • Anonymous says:

        Fire Service,

        9-1-1 Operators,

        Prison Officers,


        For many government essential services and hospitality sector workers it is just another day. Some will get an alternate day off. Some will get extra pay. Some will get nothing.

      • Anonymous says:

        Good to know you realised the sarcasm… after that LONG list ZZzzzzzz