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Belize - Minimum Wages - 2011


LAST UPDATE

23 September 2011

SOURCES


Name of Act

Labour Act (Chapter 297), dated 31 December 1959, as amended up to Act No.3 of 2011.
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Name of Act

Wages Council (Shop Assistants and Domestic Helpers) Order, dated 30 August 2002, Statutory Instrument No. 106 of 2002.

Name of Act

Trade Unions and Employers’ Organizations (Registration, Recognition and Status) Act, Chapter 304, dated 27 October 2000. As amended to 31 December 2000.

Name of Act

Wages Council Act, dated 28 February 1959, Chapter 302. As amended to 31 December 2000.

Name of Act

Wages Councils (Wages Regulation) (Consolidation) Order, Chapter 302, as amended up to Order No. 79 of 2010, of 14 August 2010.

Name of Act

Wages Regulation (Manual Workers) Order, 28 March 1992. As amended to 31 October 2003.

Other source used

Human Rights Report 2011 of Belize, of the U.S. Department of State

LEGAL DEFINITIONS


Employee/worker

A worker is any person who has entered into or works under a contract with an employer under a contract of employment.
Wages Council Act §2

Employer

Employer means any person, firm, corporation, company, or body of persons who or which has entered into an agreement or contract to employ any worker.
Labour Act §2

Wage

"Total remuneration" in respect of any period of employment, means all basic wages which the worker is paid or is entitled to be paid by his employer in respect of the labour or services which he has performed for his employer during that period of employment and includes the cash value of any board or lodging provided by his employer, but shall not include any overtime payments, commissions or bonuses: for the purposes of this definition the cash value of any board or lodging shall be deemed to be the amount fixed as such by or under the terms of the worker¿s contract of service or, if it is not so fixed, shall be computed at the rate of twenty dollars a month for board and ten dollars a month for lodging.
Labour Act §126

MINIMUM WAGE FIXING


Procedure


Government decides after tripartite or bipartite body discussions/recommendations

Minimum wage rates are set by the Minister of Labour. Minimum wages are only established for those workers covered by a Wages Council. These Councils are established in response to a lack of effective wage regulation by collective agreement for the workers concerned. Wages Councils submit wage proposals to the Minister. The Minister will then consider these proposals and may make a wages regulation order for the workers concerned.
Wages Council members are appointed by the Minister of Labour and consist of independent persons; employers’ representatives; and workers’ representatives.
Wages Council Act §3, 6(1), 7 and Schedule

Minimum wage set through decentralized collective bargaining

Wages are also set in collective agreements. The terms of a collective agreement are binding on: the trade union and its members; the bargaining unit; and the employer who are parties to the agreement.
Trade Unions Act §42

Criteria

The legislation does not set forth the criteria to be followed when minimum wage rates are set or adjusted.

Coverage


Scope

Only workers covered by a wages regulation Order are entitled to the minimum wage. These workers include: manual workers; shop assistants; and domestic helpers.
Wages Regulation (Manual Workers) Order, 1992, Statutory Instrument No. 44 of 1992 as amended up to 2003
Wages Council (Shop Assistants and Domestic Helpers) Order, 2002
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Specific minimum wage rates


» Specific minimum wage by occupation

Minimum wages are set for shop assistants, domestic workers, and students who are employed as shop assistants and manual workers engaged in agriculture, agro-industry or export-oriented industries.
Wages Council (Shop Assistants and Domestic Helpers) Order, 2002 §3(2)

» Specific minimum wage by sector

No.

» Specific minimum wage by region

No.

» Minimum wage levels for specific categories of workers


» Disabled

Employers who hire workers that are infirm or incapacitated may apply to the Labour Commissioner for an exception from a wage regulation order. This may be granted if the Commissioner considers that the worker is incapable of earning the statutory minimum. A specific, lower rate will be applied to the worker.
Wages Council Act §9

» Other categories

Students employed as shop assistants outside of school hours or during vacation are entitled to a lower minimum wage rate than regular workers ($2.00 per hour).
Wages Council (Shop Assistants and Domestic Helpers) Order, 2002 §3(2)

Level


Minimum wage level(s) in national currency

The minimum wage rate was adjusted in August 2010 to BZ$3.10 per hour for all workers except for manual/agricultural workers.
Human Rights Report 2011 of Belize
Wages Councils (Wages Regulation) (Consolidation) Order

Last minimum wage update

14 August 2010
Wages Councils (Wages Regulation) (Consolidation) Order

In-kind allowances

Nothing in this Act shall render illegal any agreement or contract with an employee for the partial payment of his wages in the form of allowances in kind, other than in the form of intoxicating liquor or noxious drugs:
Provided that-
(a) such allowances are appropriate for the personal use and benefit of the worker and his family;
(b) the value attributed to such allowances is fair and reasonable; and
(c) the partial payment of wages in the form of such allowances is customary or desirable because of the nature of the industry or occupation concerned.
In all contracts of employment provision shall be made for the payment of the wages of a worker in legal tender and not otherwise and if in any such contract the whole or any part of such wages is made payable in any other manner, such contract shall be illegal, null and void.
Labour Act §107(1), §95(1)

Rate of payment


» Hourly

Wages may be fixed to be paid by hour.
Labour Act §100(1)(a)

» Daily

Wages may be fixed to be paid by day.
Labour Act §100(1)(a)

» Weekly

Wages shall be paid at regular intervals and shall be due to be paid not less often than once a week in the case of workers whose wages are fixed by the hour or day or week, and not less often than once a fortnight in the case of workers whose wages are calculated solely on a piecework or output basis.
In the case of workers employed to perform a task the completion of which requires two weeks or more, not less often than once a fortnight in proportion to the amount of work completed.
Labour Act §100(1)(a)(b)(d)

» Monthly

Wages shall be paid at regular intervals and shall be due to be paid not less often than once a month in the case of workers whose wages are fixed on a monthly or annual basis.
In the case of workers whose wages consist of a share of profits, or of a commission on sales or payments made or received by the employer, not less often than once a month in such proportions as may be determined by agreement between such workers and the employer.
Labour Act §100(1)(c)(e)

Scheduled frequency of adjustment

The legislation does not set forth how frequently minimum wage rates should be adjusted.

Enforcement mechanisms


Labour inspection

Labour Officers may carry out inspections in order to verify that wage regulation orders are adhered to. This may involve measures such as verifying wage sheets and carrying out work-place inspections.
Wages Council Act §13

Fines in national currency for non-respect of legislation

An employer who fails to pay a worker, to whom a wages regulation order applies, the stipulated minimum wage rate is liable to a fine not exceeding $ BZD 150 for each offence. The Employer must also pay the worker the difference between the wages actually paid and the minimum wage rate.
Wages Council Act §8

Results generated on: 25th October 2014 at 14:00:42.
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