Minimum wage to be reviewed every two years

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The reviewal of the minimum wage is among the amendments proposed in the Labour and Employment Relations Amendment Bill 2022 pending Parliament.

Minister of Public Enterprises, Leatinu’u Wayne So’oialo in Parliament on Friday announced the proposed amendments have been in the works since 2018.

The current Labour Act does not stipulate a timeframe to review the minimum wage.

It says the minimum wage must not be made unless a recommendation by the Samoa National Tripartite Forum to be ordered is first considered.

In making a recommendation the Forum must consult with such employers and employees as the Forum considers appropriate.

The Head of State, acting on the advice of the Cabinet, may by Order prescribe the minimum wage to be paid in industry, occupation or class of employees.

The proposed measure provides that a minimum wage review shall be conducted by the Forum every two years after consulting with employers and employees as the Forum considers appropriate.

The last time the minimum wage was increased was two years ago from $2.30 to $3.00 an hour.

The Ministry of Commerce Industry of Labour made the announcement in 2019 and effective 1 January 2020 the business community, workers and State-Owned Enterprises were advised that as per Cabinet Directive FK(19) 44, the minimum wage is now approved to incremental increase from $2.30 to $3 tala per hour.