Labour Dep’t: We have not endorsed minimum wages

National 1 minute, 43 seconds


THE Department of Labour said yesterday that it had not endorsed minimum wages from any country and that the issue of wages should be guided by market demand.

The department released the statement following the recent circular issued by the Indonesian Embassy here regarding their government’s decision to raise the minimum wage for its citizens working as domestic workers and formal workers in the Sultanate.

“Currently, there is no specific law governing minimum wage in Brunei Darussalam that applies to local or foreign workers, where wages are normally set by mutual agreement (offer and acceptance) between employers and employees,” the department said.

“The Department of Labour acknowledges the official circular issued by the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia with regards to the placement and protection of Indonesian workers in Brunei Darussalam pertaining to minimum wage, working hours and rest days,” it said. The department also noted that the circular is an initiative that seeks to protect the welfare of Indonesian workers here.

Brunei’s Employment Order 2009 outlines the minimum terms and conditions of employment for all workers in the Sultanate, including working hours and rest days as well as payment of wages, overtime, contract of service, repatriation (for foreign workers) leave and other benefits, the department said.

It added that discussions between both countries regarding the memorandum of understanding on the recruitment and placement of Indonesian workers are currently in the preliminary stages of negotiation and awaiting further developments from the Indonesian side.

“To date, Brunei Darussalam has yet to enter into any labour-related agreement in relation to the placement and protection of migrant workers with any country,” it said.

The media reported that as of April 1, 2015 Indonesia will raise the monthly minimum wage for its citizens working as domestic workers in Brunei from $250 to $350, while their formal workers, including those working in the construction and manufacturing industries, will see the wages increased from $16 to $18 for eight working hours. The terms of working contracts signed before April 1 would remain the same until the contract has been terminated.

The Brunei Times