Where ban on couples working together does not apply in Govt.

A Public Service Commission (P.S.C.) policy that banned married and de facto couples from working for the same Government ministry does not apply to state-owned enterprises, authorities and corporations.

The exemption has been confirmed by the P.S.C. Chairman, Aiono Mose Sua.

He clarified when asked by the Samoa Observer that the enterprise entities, authorities and corporations have their own staff recruitment policies.

"The requirement is under the Public Service Regulations 2008 (P.S.C. Regulations) and therefore apply to Ministries including M.E.S.C. that are under the jurisdiction of P.S.C.," he said.

"The P.S.C. Regulations do not apply to government agencies outside the P.S.C. These Government agencies would have their own employment conditions/requirements that apply to their officers/staff."

Aiono said the P.S.C. regulations also cover the employment of close relatives within the same Government entities. 

“Under the P.S.C. regulations, a near relative is defined as a parent, child, brother, sister (whether by blood or marriage or adoption) or spouse including de facto spouse',” said Aiono.

"All new recruits make a declaration which amongst other information required include whether a near relative is already employed in the same Ministry.

"If so the P.S.C. will make in consultation with the Ministry a determination on the risk profile the employment in the same Ministry presents. Such an assessment takes into account the interest of the Public Service (i.e. the impact on services of the Ministry to the public).

"All cases of near relatives (including those that occur when officers in the same Ministry marry becoming “near relatives” as a result) would be assessed by the Ministry and the P.S.C. on the merits of each case."

The P.S.C. regulation was initially enforced in the Ministry of Police in 2017, where 23 married couples were given the choice to decide who works with the other forced to leave as per the P.S.C. Policy.

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