This Alert summarises the proposed Wages Regulation Orders (WROs) gazetted on 29 June 2012 (Proposals) pursuant to the Employment Relations Promulgation 2007 (ERP).
The ERP requires the relevant wages councils to publish notice of the Proposals 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 Proposals do not appear to provide the required information and are not in conformity with the ERP. We have written to the Ministry of Labour to ask for clarification.
The Proposals will affect workers in the industries listed below whose minimum rate of remuneration does not exceed $250 per week:
- Road Transport
- Sawmilling and Logging
- Security Services
- Wholesale and Retail Trades
- Hotel and Catering
- Mining and Quarrying
- Printing Trades
- Building and Civil and Electrical Engineering Trades
Overview of proposed changes
The common proposed change across all industries is an increase in the rates of pay of between 10% and 15%. In some industries there is an increase in meal allowances up to $7.00.
In the Manufacturing and Hotel and Catering industries, night allowances have increased to 20 cents an hour, while daily subsistence allowances in the Sawmilling and Logging, Wholesale and Retail have increased up to $5.
In the Sawmilling and Logging, Mining and Quarrying and Printing industries, new definitions and categories of worker are proposed.
The Ministry of Labour requires that written submissions on the Proposals are to be sent to the Permanent Secretary of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment on or before the 28 July 2012.
The Wages Councils are required to consider any written representations made to them before the Proposals are submitted to the Minister. Upon receiving the Proposals the Minister (unless he has concerns or reservations) will make new WRO’s to give effect to the Proposals.
The Proposals indicate that new WROs will come into force on 15 August 2012.
Employers are not limited to making submissions on the changes sought to be made by the Proposals and may make submissions on any existing provision or arrangement that is reflected in the Proposals. This is the opportunity for anyone who is dissatisfied with an existing provision of a WRO to seek an alteration of that provision particularly where corrections are required or there may be ambiguity. In particular, outer island resort properties who wish to introduce arrangements for accumulated rest days that are different to those currently allowed, may want to take this opportunity to seek the necessary change in the WRO.
Display of Notices
Affected employers are required to display the relevant proposal in the workplace. An employer who fails to display the Proposal commits an offence and is liable upon issue of a fixed penalty notice to a penalty of up to $20. Where the employer disputes the penalty notice and is convicted in the Tribunal, the maximum penalty is $100.
To obtain copies of the Proposals
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If you require specific advice in relation to the WROs or any other employment law matter please contact any of the lawyers listed below.
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