The Minimum Wage per hour will increase by 10p on 1 July 2018 to £3.05 (for persons aged 18 and over) and £2.10 (for persons aged 16 or 17).

The Minimum Wage had previously increased in August 2017. During consultation, businesses told SHG that rather than wait several years and propose a large increase, it was better for SHG to propose a smaller increase to the Minimum Wage regularly each year. The increase was agreed by Executive Council on Tuesday, 20 March, and will be enacted after three months’ notice to businesses, as prescribed by the Employment Rights Ordinance, 2010.

There are a number of upward pressures on the Minimum Wage. Since the Minimum Wage was set in 2017, prices have inflated by 3.3% (the equivalent of 10p) and the Income Related Benefit (IRB) has increased by 10p. It is recognised by the Employment Rights Committee that the Minimum Wage should continue to steadily increase year on year, to ensure that the lowest income earners benefit from economic development, and the magnitude of the increase should be set at a rate which avoids significant inflation in prices.

It is a legal requirement for employers to remunerate their employees at a rate which equals or exceeds the Minimum Wage. Exceptions only apply to people employed by a charity or voluntary organisation where under terms of employment, they are not entitled to monetary payments or benefits in kind; prisoners detained in, or on temporary release from a prison, or people employed as a master or member of a crew of a fishing vessel where they are remunerated instead through a profit share system.

Every employer must keep records of payments made to its employees for the current tax year plus seven previous tax years. If an employee is remunerated at a rate less than the Minimum Wage, the employee is entitled to claim the difference between the actual amount paid and the Minimum Wage equivalent. If an employee believes that they may have been paid less than the Minimum Wage over the last 12 months, the employee should give their employer notice to request, inspect and copy employment records. If the remuneration does not meet the Minimum Wage, then the employee may lodge a complaint with the Labour Regulating Authority by contacting the Clerk, Yvonne Williams via email: yvonne.williams@sainthelena.gov.sh or tel: 22340 within 14 days of receiving the records or within 28 days of the request notice if no records are forthcoming. In the case where there is no employment contract between an employee and employer, it will be assumed there is such a contract for the purpose of recovering remuneration in civil proceedings.

The Employment Rights Ordinance, 2010, provides more details on the rights of employees and employers, with respect to the Minimum Wage.

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SHG

21 March 2018

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