M.C.I.L. advises of Independence public holiday

The Ministry of Commerce Industry and Labour has announced that Tuesday 1 June 2021 is to be treated as a public holiday to celebrate the country's 59th year of independence. 

The announcement was made in a public notice signed by the Acting Chief Executive Officer of M.C.I.L. Houlton Fa’asau and distributed to the media. 

According to the Ministry's public notice, shops selling goods may open during public holidays in accordance with the provisions of the Public Holidays Act 2008.

“In accordance with section 2 of the Public Holidays Act 2008, the public, government agencies, and the private sector are hereby advised that Tuesday, 1 June 2021 is to be treated as a Public Holiday to commemorate Samoa's Independence,” read the notice.

Furthermore, the notice added that, “however, employers are reminded to comply with Section 39 of the Labour and Employment Relations Act 2013 in relation to the rate of wages to be paid to employees who work on Public Holidays.”

The Labour and Employment Relations Act 2013 Section 39 states that 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.

“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.

“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.”

In addition the M.C.I.L. urged the public to please note the amended state of emergency order (number 46) dated 14 May 2021 is in effect.

Accordingly, the public and private sectors must adhere to this order. The opening hours for supermarkets are as follows: Monday–Saturday: 6am to 10pm and Sunday: 3pm to 10pm.

However, the latest state of emergency order (47) revoked the emergency order 46 issued on May 13.

“For further information, please contact the Industrial Relations, Foreign Employees Employment Permits & Occupational Safety and Health Division at telephone 20441 or 20442." 

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