The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour (M.C.I.L) has declared two public holidays for the upcoming General Elections on 4 March 2016.
According to a public notice signed by the Chief Executive Officer of M.C.I.L, Peseta Margaret Malua, the public holidays are on Thursday 3 March 2016 and the actual polling day on Friday 4 March 2016.
“The public, business communities, shop owners, employers and workers are hereby advised that in accordance with the Section 2 of the Public Holidays Act 2008, the Public Holidays declared for General Elections are as follows: Thursday, 3rd March 2016; and Friday, 4th March 2016.”
The notice goes on to say that businesses “may open” shops for the selling of goods on the public holidays in accordance with the provisions of the Public Holidays Act 2008.
As for workers and employers, the Ministry has reminded them to comply with Section 39 of the Labour and Employment Relations Act 2013 as follows:
(1) An employee may be paid his or her ordinary rate of wages on a public holiday, which falls during the time that he or she is normally required to provide his or her services to the employer.
(2) An employee may, in agreement with his or her employer, choose to work on a public holiday and not be paid for that work and instead substitute another working day to take his or her public holiday.
(3) An employee who works upon the request of his or her employer on a public holiday is entitled to double the ordinary rate of wages for such day’s work.
(4) An employee who travels on official business overseas during a public holiday:
(a) Is entitled to elect a day for the public holiday to be taken on his or her return to Samoa; and
(b) Must consult his or her employer before taking his or her holiday under paragraph (a). For further information, please contact the Industrial Relations & Occupational Safety and Health Division at telephone 20441 or 20442.