Minimum Wages Act


Published: 2002-01-21

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Minimum Wages Act
MINIMUM WAGES [CH.321B – 1


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LRO 1/2006 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

CHAPTER 321B

MINIMUM WAGES

LIST OF AUTHORISED PAGES

1 – 9 LRO 1/2006


ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

SECTION
1. Short title.
2. Interpretation.
3. Application of Act.
4. Minimum wages.
5. Enforcement of minimum wages.
6. Computation of wages.
7. Employers not to receive premiums.
8. Records and notices.
9. Penalty for false records and information.
10. Liability of agent and special defence to employers.
11. Inspectors.
12. Where under-payments found on inspection.
13. Annual report.
14. Regulations.

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CHAPTER 321B
MINUMUM WAGES

An Act to make provisions for minimum wages in
employments and for connected purposes.

[Assent 21st January, 2002]
[Commencement 21st January, 2002]

1. This Act may be cited as the Minimum Wages
Act.

2. In this Act —
“employee” means any person who has entered into

or works under (or, in the case of a contract
which has been terminated, worked under) a
contract of employment, whether the contract is
for manual labour, clerical work or otherwise
and whether it is a contract of service or
apprenticeship, and any reference to
employment shall be construed accordingly;

“employer”, in relation to an employee, means any
person or undertaking, corporation, company,
public authority or body of persons including —
(a) the owner of a business in which the

employee is employed;
(b) any managing agent of an employer;
(c) in relation to a person engaged in plying

for hire with any vehicle or vessel the use
of which is obtained from the owner
thereof under a contract of bailment (other
than a hire-purchase agreement), the said
owner;

(d) in relation to a person employed for the
purposes of any game or recreation and
engaged or paid through a club, the
manager, or, where the club is managed by
a committee, the members of the managing
committee, of the club,

who or which employs any person to work
under a contract of employment or uses the
services of a commission agent or contract
worker; and includes the heirs, successors and
assigns of an employer;

1 of 2002

Short title.

Interpretation.

CH.321B – 4] MINIMUM WAGES





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2006

“inspector” means an inspector designated under
section 11 as the case may be;

“Minister” means the Minister responsible for
Labour;

“regulations” means regulations made under this Act
and in the manner provided by this Act;

“wages” includes every form of remuneration for
work performed, but does not include tips,
bonuses or other gratuities.

3. (1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), the provisions
of this Act shall apply in relation to any employee
employed in any form of employment in The Bahamas
including any such employment by or under the Crown in
right of the Government of The Bahamas or by any body
corporate established by law for public purposes.

(2) This Act shall not apply to —
(a) industrial agreements existing on the date of the

coming into force of this Act;
(b) children and young persons.
(3) The Minister may by order provide that the

provisions of this Act or such of the said provisions as are
mentioned in the order shall or shall not apply in relation to
persons or employments of such classes as may be
specified in the order subject to such exceptions or
modifications as may be so specified.

4. (1) The minimum wages shall be fixed as follows —
(a) if the employee is employed by the week the

minimum wages shall be one hundred and fifty
dollars per week;

(b) if the employee is employed by the day the
minimum wages shall be thirty dollars per day;

(c) if the employee is employed by the hour the
minimum wages shall be four dollars per hour.

(2) The Minister may by order increase the sums
specified in subsection (1) after consultation —

(a) with a confederation being in the opinion of the
Minister a confederation representative of em-
ployers and associations of employers generally;
and

Application of
Act.

Minimum wages.

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(b) with an association of registered trade unions
being an association in the opinion of the
Minister representative of employees generally.

(3) As soon as the Minister has made a minimum
wages order it shall be subject to affirmative resolution of
both Houses of Parliament.

5. (1) If a contract whether made before or after the
commencement of this Act, between an employee and his
employer provides for the payment of less wages than the
statutory minimum wages, such contract shall have effect
as for those less wages there were substituted the statutory
minimum wages.

(2) If an employer pays to an employee wages which
are less than the statutory minimum wages, such employer
is guilty of an offence and shall be liable, on summary
conviction, to a fine of five thousand dollars, and the court
shall order the employer to pay the employee such sum as
is found by the court to represent the difference between
the amount which ought to have been paid to the employee
by way of remuneration, if section 4 had been complied
with, and the amount actually paid.

(3) The powers given by this section for the recovery
of sums due from an employer to an employee shall not
derogate from any right to recover such sums by civil
proceedings.

6. (1) Subject to the provisions of this section, any
reference in this Act to wages shall be construed as a
reference to the amount obtained or to be obtained in cash
by the employee from his employer, clear of all deductions
in respect of any matter whatsoever, except any deductions
lawfully made —

(a) under any written law requiring or authorising
deductions to be made from wages for any
purpose specified in that written law;

(b) at the request in writing of the employee for any
purpose in the carrying out of which the
employer has no beneficial financial interest,
whether directly or indirectly.

(2) For the purposes of this section, the expression
“cash” means current coin and currency notes of The
Bahamas and any drafts or orders for the payment of
money by means of which wages may be lawfully paid.

Enforcement of
minimum wages.

Computation of
wages.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2006

(3) Nothing in this section shall be construed as
authorising the doing of any act which is illegal by virtue
of any written law.

7. (1) Where an employee is an apprentice or learner,
it shall not be lawful for his employer to receive directly or
indirectly from him, or on his behalf or on his account, any
payment by way of premium:

Provided that nothing in this subsection shall apply —
(a) to any such payment duly made in pursuance of

any instrument of apprenticeship not later than
four weeks after the commencement of the
apprenticeship; or

(b) to any such payment made at any time if duly
made in pursuance of any instrument of appren-
ticeship, or of any contract in writing providing
for the training or education of the employee,
which is approved for the purposes of this
provision, either generally or in relation to the
particular case by the Minister.

(2) Any employer acting in contravention of this
section shall be guilty of an offence and liable, on summary
conviction, to a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars,
and the court may, in addition to imposing a fine, order
him to repay to the employee or other person to whom the
payment was made the sum improperly received by way of
premium.

8. (1) The employer of any employee shall keep such
records as are necessary to show whether or not the
provisions of this Act are being complied with as respects
that employee, and all such records shall be retained by the
employer for three years.

(2) The employer of any employee shall post such
notices as may be prescribed for the purpose of informing
that employee of any minimum wages affecting him, and,
if it is so prescribed, shall give notice in any other
prescribed manner to that employee of the said minimum
wages and of such other matters, if any, as may be
prescribed.

(3) If an employer fails to comply with any of the
requirements of this section, he shall be guilty of an offence
and liable, on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding
five hundred dollars.

Employers not to
receive
premiums.

Records and
notices.

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(4) This section shall not apply in the case of
domestic workers.

9. If any person makes or causes to be made or
knowingly allows to be made any entry in a record
required by this Act to be kept by employers which he
knows to be false in a material particular, or for purposes
connected with this Act produces or furnishes, or causes or
knowingly allows to be produced or furnished, any wages
sheet, records, list or information which he knows to be
false in a material particular, he shall be guilty of an
offence and liable, on summary conviction, to a fine not
exceeding five thousand dollars.

10. (1) Where an employer is charged with an offence
under this Act, he shall be entitled, upon complaint duly
laid by him, and on giving to the prosecution not less than
three days’ notice in writing of his intention, to have any
other person whose act or default he alleges that the
offence in question was due, brought before the court at the
time appointed for the hearing of the charge; and if, after
the commission of the offence has been proved, the
employer proves that the offence was due to the act or the
default of that other person, that other person may be
convicted of the offence; and, if the employer further
proves that he has used all due diligence to secure that this
Act and any relevant regulation or order made thereunder
are complied with, he shall be acquitted of the offence.

(2) Where a defendant seeks to avail himself of the
provisions of subsection (1) —

(a) the prosecution, as well as the person whom the
defendant charges with the offence, shall have
the right to cross-examine him, if he gives
evidence, and any witness called by him in
support of his plea, and to call rebutting
evidence; and

(b) the court may make such order as it thinks fit for
the payment of cost by any party to the
proceedings to any other party thereto.

(3) Proceedings may first be taken against any such
other person to whose act or default an offence under this
Act is alleged to be due, without first causing proceedings
to be taken against the employer; and in any such
proceedings the defendant may be charged with, and on


Penalty for false
records and
information.

Liability of agent
and special
defence to
employers.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2006

proof that the offence was due to his act or default, be
convicted of, the offence with which the employer might
have been charged.

11. (1) The Minister may designate any suitably
qualified public officer as an inspector under this Act.

(2) An inspector may, for the purpose of ensuring
compliance with this Act or with the Employment Act, or
the regulations made thereunder —

(a) inspect and examine all books, payrolls and
other records, if any, of an employer relating to
the minimum wages, overtime pay and vacation
pay affecting any employee;

(b) take extracts from or make copies of any entry
in the books, payrolls and other records, if any,
mentioned in paragraph (a);

(c) require any employer to make or furnish state-
ments, either orally or in writing in such form as
may be prescribed to provide information
respecting the minimum wages paid to all or any
of his employees, and their overtime pay and
vacation pay; and

(d) require any employee to make full disclosure,
production and delivery to him of all records,
documents, statements, writings, books, papers
and extracts therefrom, or copies thereof, or of
any other information (whether or not in
writing) that the employee has in his possession
or under his control and that in any way relate to
his minimum wages, overtime pay and vacation
pay.

(3) An inspector may, after having given reasonable
notice, at any reasonable time, enter upon any place other
than a private dwelling where any person is employed for
the purpose of making an inspection authorised under
subsection (2).

(4) An inspector shall be furnished by the Minister
with a certificate of his authority and, on entering any such
place as is mentioned in subsection (3), shall, if so required,
produce the certificate to the person in charge thereof.

(5) The person in charge of any such place as
aforesaid and every person employed therein or in
connection therewith, shall give an inspector all reasonable


Inspectors.




Ch. 321A.

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assistance in his power to enable the inspector to carry out
his duties under this Act or the regulations made
thereunder.

12. Where an inspector finds that an employer has
failed to pay to an employee —

(a) the statutory minimum wages;
(b) any overtime pay to which the employee is

entitled under the Employment Act; or
(c) any vacation pay to which the employee is

entitled under the Employment Act,
the inspector may determine the difference between the
wages actually paid to the employee and the wages to
which the employee is entitled and, if the amount of the
difference is agreed to in writing by the employer and the
employee, the employer shall, within five days from the
date of the agreement, pay that amount to the employee.

13. The Minister shall, within six months from the
end of every year, prepare an annual report on the adminis-
tration of this Act and cause such report to be laid before
both Houses of Parliament.

14. The Minister may make regulations for carrying
out the purposes of this Act and, without prejudice to the
generality of the foregoing, may make regulations —

(a) providing for the payment of any wages of an
employee to the Minister or to some other
person in the event that the employee cannot be
found, or in any other case;

(b) providing for the establishment of committees to
advise the Minister on any matters arising in
relation to the administration of this Act; and

(c) for any other matter required or authorised by
this Act to be prescribed.



Where under-
payments found
on inspection.






Ch. 321A.

Annual report.

Regulations.

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