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Fiji - Minimum Wages - 2011


LAST UPDATE

27 July 2011

SOURCES


Name of Act

Employment Relations Promulgation 2007, Promulgation no. 36 of 2007 dated 2 October 2007, published by the Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment, on http://www.labour.gov.fj/laws.htm, accessed 26 July 2011
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Name of Act

Wages Regulation Orders 2011, by industry. Dated 21 April 2011 and published 20 May 2011 by the Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment in the Fiji Islands Government Gazette Supplement and electronically at http://www.labour.gov.fj/wros/wro2011.pdf, accessed 26 July 2011

LEGAL DEFINITIONS


Employee/worker

Worker means a person who is employed under a contract of service, and includes an apprentice, learner, domestic worker, part-time worker or casual worker.
Employment Relations Promulgation 2007 §4
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Employer

Employer means a corporation, company, body of persons or individual by whom a worker is employed under a contract of service; and includes:
(a) the Government;
(b) other Government entities;
(c) a local authority;
(d) a statutory authority;
(e) the agent or authorised representative of a local or foreign employer;
Employment Relations Promulgation 2007 §4
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Wage

Wages means all payments made to a worker for work done in respect of the workerʼs contract of service but does not include:
(a) the value of a house, accommodation or the supply of food, fuel, light, water or medical attendance, or amenity or services;
(b) a contribution paid by the employer on the employerʼs own account to a pension fund or provident fund;
(c) a travelling allowance or the value of a travelling concession;
(d) a sum payable to the worker to defray special expenses incurred by the worker by the nature of the workerʼs employment; or
(e) a gratuity payable on discharge or retirement.
Employment Relations Promulgation 2007 §4
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Minimum wage

The term ’statutory minimum remuneration’ refers to remuneration (including leave and holiday remuneration) fixed by a wage regulation order.
Employment Relations Promulgation 2007 §54(8)

MINIMUM WAGE FIXING


Procedure

The minimum wage is set by wages regulation orders, which are made by sector and based on proposals from the relevant wages council. The wages regulation orders must be approved by the Minister before coming into effect.
Employment Relations Promulgation 2007 Part 6, Division 2

Procedure in general

Subject to any other written law or Parts 13 and 17, a wages council shall, upon request by the Permanent Secretary or on its own motion, consider any matter affecting the general conditions of employment of workers, and shall make a report to the Permanent Secretary who shall, after receiving the report of the council, make a report to the Minister for his consideration.
Employment Relations Promulgation 2007 §53

Government decides after tripartite or bipartite body discussions/recommendations

If the Minister on the recommendation of the Board, is satisfied that no adequate machinery exists for setting effective remuneration of a class of workers, or that existing machinery is likely to cease to exist or is
inadequate, the Minister may, by order in the Gazette, make a wages council order to establish a wages council, in relation to the workers or class of workers described in the order and their employers.

A wages council is to consist of:
(a) not more than 3 independent members;
(b) such number of members to represent employers in relation to whom the council is to operate;
(c) such number of members to represent workers in relation to whom the council is to operate.

A wages council may submit to the Minister a proposed wages regulation order.

Before submitting a proposed wages regulation order to the Minister, the wages council shall inquire into the proposal as it thinks fit and shall publish, in the prescribed manner, notice of the proposal, stating:
(a) the place where copies of the proposal may be obtained;
(b) the period within which written representations on the proposals may be made; and
(c) the place where the representations may be sent.

The council shall consider any written representations made to it within the period specified in the notice and may make any other inquiries and may submit the proposal to the Minister with or without amendment.

Where the Minister receives any proposed wages regulation order, the Minister shall make an order giving effect to the proposals as from such date as may be specified in the order.

If the Minister has some concerns relating to or reservations about the proposed wages regulation order, the Minister may refer the proposals to the council for re-consideration. The council shall, upon reconsidering the proposed wages regulation order after taking into account the concerns or reservations made by the Minister, re-submit the proposals to the Minister with or without amendment.
Employment Relations Promulgation 2007 §§53, 54

Criteria

The legislation does not specify criteria to be considered by a wages council in relation to a proposed wage regulation order. Rather, the Employment Relations Promulgation provides that the wages council shall inquire into the wage proposal as it thinks fit.

However, the wages council are required to consider any written representations received in accordance with its notice of proposal, or any concerns or reservations expressed by the Minister.
Employment Relations Promulgation 2007 §54

Coverage

The coverage of the minimum wage protections is determined by ministerial order and reflected in the relevant wages regulation order.
Employment Relations Promulgation 2007 Part 6, Division 2
Wages Regulation Orders 2011

Scope

The workers or class of workers to be covered by a wages council is to be set out in the constituting wages council order. The scope of the wages council order may be objected to during the period of public consultation, or revoked or varied by the Minister at any time, in accordance with the procedures set out in §51 of the Employment Relations Promulgation.

There are 10 wages councils operative as at July 2011. These are as follows:
(1) Mining & Quarrying Industry Wages Council,
(2) Wholesale and Retail Trades Wages Council,
(3) Manufacturing Industry Wages Council,
(4) Hotel and Catering Trades Wages Council,
(5) Building & Civil & Electrical Engineering Trades Wages Council,
(6) Garment Industry Wages Council,
(7) Sawmilling and Logging Industry Wages Council,
(8) Security Services Wages Council,
(9) Road Transport Wages Council,
(10) Printing Trades Wages Council.

The scope of each wage regulations order is reflected in the relevant wages regulation order.
Employment Relations Promulgation 2007 §§50, 51, 52
Wages Regulation Orders 2011 See various ’application’ provisions

Excluded categories

Any worker not falling within the scope of a wages council order is excluded from the scope of statutory minimum wage rates.
Employment Relations Promulgation 2007 Part 6, Division 2
Wages Regulation Orders 2011

Specific minimum wage rates

The specific minimum wage rates are set by sector and, in most cases, vary between occupations within each sector.
Wages Regulation Orders 2011

» Specific minimum wage by occupation

Most of the wages regulation orders, which are set by sector, provide different minimum wage rates for the various occupations falling within the relevant sector.
Wages Regulation Orders 2011

» Specific minimum wage by sector

Minimum wages have been set for the following 10 sectors:
1) Mining & Quarrying,
(2) Wholesale and Retail,
(3) Manufacturing,
(4) Hotel and Catering,
(5) Building & Civil & Electrical Engineering,
(6) Garment Industry,
(7) Sawmilling and Logging,
(8) Security Services,
(9) Road Transport,
(10) Printing Trades.
Wages Regulation Orders 2011

Level

The minimum wage level varies according to sector and role.
Wages Regulation Orders 2011

Minimum wage level(s) in national currency

Minimum wage levels vary according to sector, position and, in some cases, seniority. The following reflect the lowest minimum wage set for each sector, excluding trainee rates:
(1) Mining & Quarrying - $2.48 p/hr
(2) Wholesale and Retail - $2.53 p/hr
(3) Manufacturing - $2.75 p/hr
(4) Hotel and Catering - $2.53 p/hr
(5) Building & Civil & Electrical Engineering - $2.81 p/hr
(6) Garment Industry - $1.96 p/hr
(7) Sawmilling and Logging - $3.16 p/hr
(8) Security Services - $2.20 p/hr
(9) Road Transport - $2.19 p/hr
(10) Printing Trades - $2.92 p/hr
Wages Regulation Orders 2011

Last minimum wage update

21 April 2011, effective from 1 May 2011
Wages Regulation Orders 2011

In-kind allowances

An employer may make deductions at the request in writing of the worker -
(i) in respect of articles or provisions purchased on credit by the worker from the employer;
(ii) in respect of charges for the cost of accommodation, fuel or light supplied by the employer and used by the worker; or
(iii) in respect of food or victuals cooked, prepared and eaten on the employerʼs premises.
The total deduction in respect of accommodation, boarding, fuel and light must not exceed 15% of the workerʼs wages in respect of one wage period, and 5% for accommodation or board.
Employment Relations Promulgation 2007 §47(1)(d) and (3)
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Rate of payment

The rate of payment is to be set by the work contract, but may not exceed one month.
Employment Relations Promulgation 2007 §§27, 32, 35

» Hourly

The wages regulation orders set the minimum wage by the hour. However, the Employment Relations Promulgation indicates that a contract for the payment of wages at intervals of less than a day is deemed to be daily contract and that in such cases, wages are payable at the end of the contract period.
Wages Regulation Orders 2011
Employment Relations Promulgation 2007 §§27, 32, 35

» Daily

Wages will be payable daily where expressly or impliedly required by the work contract.
Employment Relations Promulgation 2007 §§27, 32

» Weekly

Wages will be payable weekly where expressly or impliedly required by the work contract.
Employment Relations Promulgation 2007 §§27, 32

» Monthly

This is the maximum interval at which wages are to be paid.
Employment Relations Promulgation 2007 §§27, 32, 35

» Other

For contracts of task or piecework, wages are due upon performance of task or piecework in relation to which the rate of remuneration is agreed.
Employment Relations Promulgation 2007 §§31, 32(a)

Scheduled frequency of adjustment

The frequency of adjustment is not prescribed by the Employment Relations Promulgation 2007.

Enforcement mechanisms


Labour inspection

Labour officers and inspectors are empowered to enter, inspect and examine a workplace, require an employer to produce documents or records, interview the employer and workers and make inquiries of any person acting on behalf of the employer. They are also entitled to copy documents and issue demand or penalty notices for the purpose of ensuring compliance with any provision of the Employment Relations Promulgation 2007.

The Employment Relations Promulgation 2007 imposes a number of obligations on employers for the purposes of safeguarding the payment of wages. These obligations include:
(a) providing workers with a written or electronic statement containing specified particulars for each wage period;
(b) maintaining records showing specified information for each worker;
(c) making records from the preceding 6 years available to labour officers or labour inspectorates upon their request; and
(d) displaying written notices regarding any wages regulation orders and proposed wages regulation orders affecting the employer’s workers.

Failure to comply with the above obligations constitutes an offence. Failure to comply with any provision of a wages regulation order also constitutes an offence.

Enforcement proceedings with regards to wages regulation orders can be brought under §55 of the Employment Relations Promulgation 2007. Where a person is found guilty of an offence, evidence may be tendered regarding like contraventions over the past 3 years.
Employment Relations Promulgation 2007 Part 6 - Division 1 and §§55, 56 of Division 2

Fines in national currency for non-respect of legislation

The penalty for wage-related offences specified in §247 of the Employment Relations Promulgation 2007 (including failure to pay wages in accordance with a work contract or upon demand or unlawful deductions from wages) is a fine not exceeding $20,000 for an individual and not exceeding $100,000 for a corporation.

The penalty for failing to post written notice regarding an applicable or proposed wages regulation order is a fixed penalty of $100, although failure to pay the fixed penalty may result in a fine not exceeding $10,000 for an individual and not exceeding $50,000 for a corporation.

The penalty for other wage-related offences (e.g. failure to provide wage information or maintain wage records, providing false information in records, obstructing labour officers or inspectors) is a fine not exceeding $10,000 for an individual and not exceeding $50,000 for a corporation.
Employment Relations Promulgation 2007 §§246, 247, 256
Wages Regulation Orders 2011

Other penalties

Individuals found guilty of an offence under the Employment Relations Promulgation may be sentenced to imprisonment. The maximum term varies according to the type of offence, and ranges from a term not exceeding 12 months to a term not exceeding 5 years.
Employment Relations Promulgation 2007 §§246, 247, 256

Results generated on: 26th October 2014 at 02:54:40.
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