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Solomon Islands - Minimum Wages - 2011


LAST UPDATE

24 October 2011

SOURCES


Name of Act

Minimum Wage Order 2008, Supplement to the Solomon Islands Gazette of 23 April 2008

Name of Act

Labour Act, as amended to 1996, and related Rules, including the Labour (Domestic Servants) Rules. Published by the Pacific Islands Legal Information Institute at http://www.paclii.org/sb/legis/consol_act/la84/ and accessed 20 October 2011.

Other source used

’Minimum wage review for Solomon Islands’, report published by Islands Business on 10 June 2010 at www.islandsbusiness.com and accessed 20 October 2011.

LEGAL DEFINITIONS


Employee/worker

’Worker’ means any person who has entered into or works under a contract of service or apprenticeship with an employer whether by way of manual labour, clerical work or otherwise, whether the contract is expressed or implied, is oral or in writing, but does not include a domestic servant or seaman.

Labour Act and Rules §2
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Employer

’Employer’ means any person by whom a worker is employed, and includes a prospective employer.
Labour Act and Rules §2

Minimum wage

’Minimum wage’ means the minimum rate of wages fixed in accordance with Part IV of the Labour Act provided in respect of the particular occupation followed by the person concerned and applicable to that person.
Labour Act and Rules §29

MINIMUM WAGE FIXING


Procedure


Government decides after consultation of the social partners

The Labour Act provides that the Minister of Labour may set minimum wage rates for workers either generally or in any specified area or province, in any case in which he is satisfied that the minimum rate of wages being paid to any persons employed in any such occupation is unreasonably low.

Before making a minimum wage order the minister shall consult with the employer and worker representatives concerned.

The most recent minimum wage order establishes one rate for workers in agricultural plantations and fishing sectors, and another rate for workers in all other sectors. The minimum wage applies throughout the country and to all workers covered by the Labour Act.
Labour Act and Rules §30
Minimum Wage Order 2008

Criteria

No statutory criteria for the adjustment of the minimum wage identified.

Coverage


Scope

The minimum wage provisions of the Labour Act apply to all workers in the Solomon Islands. Further, although domestic workers and seamen are excluded from the definition of worker in §2, they are covered by the minimum wage requirements of the Labour Act.
Labour Act and Rules §2, Part IV, Labour (Domestic Servants) Rules, Labour (Seamen) Rules

Excluded categories


» Workers

The Commissioner may issue permits of exemption to infirm or disabled persons authorising the employment of such persons at less than the minimum wage set under §30 of the Labour Act, and stipulate an alternative minimum wage rate for the infirm or disabled person.

Further, any minimum rate of wages may be subject to abatement by collective agreement, with the written permit of the Commissioner. The permit shall stipulate the minimum wage rate which shall apply to the workers covered by the collective agreement for the duration of that agreement.
Labour Act and Rules §36

Specific minimum wage rates


» Specific minimum wage by occupation

Although the Minister may fix minimum wages for workers in a particular occupation, no such rates have been identified.
Labour Act and Rules §30
Minimum Wage Order 2008

» Specific minimum wage by sector

A separate rate is set for the fishing and agriculture sectors. All other sectors have the same minimum wage rate.
Minimum Wage Order 2008

» Specific minimum wage by region

Although the Minister may fix minimum wage rates by specific area or region, no such wages rates have been identified. The minimum wage rates fixed in the Minimum Wage Order of 2008 apply throughout the Solomon Islands.
Labour Act and Rules §30
Minimum Wage Order 2008

» Minimum wage levels for specific categories of workers


» Trainees

An apprenticeship contract must stipulate how the apprentice’s remuneration is to be determined, and as to the scale of increments, if any.
Labour Act and Rules §59(d)
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» Domestic Workers

The minimum wage rates set under the Labour Act apply to domestic workers.
Labour Act and Rules Labour (Domestic Servants) Rules

» Youth

Young workers are implicitly covered by the minimum wage provisions of the Labour Act.

» Disabled

The Commissioner may issue permits of exemption to infirm or disabled persons authorising the employment of such persons at less than the minimum wage fixed in respect of the occupation in which such persons are employed.
Labour Act and Rules § 36

Level


Minimum wage level(s) in national currency

The minimum wage for the agricultural plantations and the fishing sectors is $3.20 per hour. In all other sectors, the minimum wage is $4 per hour.
Minimum Wage Order 2008

Last minimum wage update

1 May 2008
Minimum Wage Order 2008

In-kind allowances

Normally, the entire amount of the wages earned by, or payable to, any worker in respect of any work done by him shall be paid directly to him in legal tender and every payment of, or on account of, any such wages made in any other form shall be illegal, null and void.

However, the employer may be required by the Commissioner, or may agree with the worker, to provide the worker with rations on a prescribed scale. In such a case, the amount which may be deducted from the wages on account of those rations shall be prescribed by the Commissioner. Further, employers are required to provide water and housing to employees in certain circumstances, but may deduct an approved amount from the employees’ wages on account of these services.

Further, a contract may provide that the worker shall receive food or a dwelling place in addition to a monetary wage as remuneration for his services, provided that the contract shall also state the value of any food or dwelling place so provided.
Labour Act and Rules §§19(1), 25(1), 65, 67, 69, Labour (Ration) Rules
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Rate of payment


» Hourly

The minimum rates of wages are expressed in hourly rates.
Minimum Wage Order 2008

» Monthly

Where the wages of a worker are payable monthly, they shall be paid not later than 7 days after the expiration of the period in respect of which they are due.
Labour Act and Rules §16(1)

Scheduled frequency of adjustment

The legislation does not state how frequently minimum wage levels should be adjusted.

Enforcement mechanisms


Labour inspection

The Commissioner or a Health officer may enter at all times upon any place which he has reasonable cause to believe is a place of employment and into any house accommodation provided by an employer for workers, and put questions, either alone or in the presence of witnesses, concerning the workers to the employer or to any person who may be in charge of the workers or to the workers themselves and the employer or such person, or any such worker, shall be equally bound to answer such questions truthfully to the best of his ability.

Every employer shall keep records concerning his workers containing sufficient information to form a full record of the workers and of the terms and conditions of their employment and shall keep a register or check roll, showing the names of the workers, place of recruitment, nature of employment, rate of wages, amount and value of rations (if any), amount earned, advances, deductions, net amount due, amount paid and any bonus due whether paid monthly or at the end of the contract.

Every worker in respect of whom a record, register or check roll is kept under the preceding subsection shall be entitled at all reasonable times to refer to such portions thereof as relate to him.
Labour Act and Rules §§7, 15

Fines in national currency for non-respect of legislation

Failure to pay any worker the applicable minimum wage rate results in a $500 fine for each offence and an additional $20 for each day on which the offence is continued after the employer was convicted of the offence.

Failure to pay wages in accordance with Part III of the Labour Act (relating to timing, form and deductions from wage payments) is punishable by a fine of $1,000 (or, in default of payment thereof, to imprisonment for six months).
Labour Act and Rules §§28, 31

Other penalties

Where an employer is found guilty of failing to pay a worker the minimum wage, the employer may be ordered to pay the employee an amount equal to the difference between the wage actually paid by the employer and the wage the employer legally ought to have paid.
Labour Act and Rules §31(2)

Results generated on: 01st August 2014 at 15:55:58.
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