SAINT CHRISTOPHER, NEVIS AND ANGUILLA
THE PROTECTION OF WAGES ORDINANCE, 1967
An Ordinance to make provision for the protection of wages of workers.
Agreement to pay wages
otherwise than in money
Agreement as to place or
manner of spending wages
Wages to be paid entirely in
money, and on working day.
Wages to be paid directly to
Wages not to be paid in
liquor or on certain
Wages to be paid at regular
Payment of wages on
Remuneration other than
Workers right to recover.
Wages in case of bankruptcy
Rates of wages to be
notified by employer to
Register of wage payment.
Limitation of adventure
Interest on advance
Illegal advances to
Deductions or payments fines
Deductions for obtaining or
Saving as to judgment debts.
Limitations on attachment or
seizure of wages.
Actual offender to be
Power to make regulations.
Prosecution to be instituted
within one year of offence.
Commencement: 23rd February, 1967Be it enacted by the Queens Most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Council of Saint Christopher, Nevis and Anguilla, and by the authority of the same as follows:-
1. This Ordinance may be citied as the Protection of the Wages Ordinance, 1967
2. In this Ordinance unless the context otherwise requires-
work includes work ordinarily performed by mechanics, handicraftsmen, seamen, boatmen, longshore-men, transport workers, domestic servants and all laborers and any other similar work associated therewith, including workers in the catering trades and in clerical offices or organizations connected with any of the aforementioned trades or businesses.
workers means a person employed in the activities mentioned under the aforesaid term work.
Agreement to pay wages otherwise than in money illegal.
3. In every agreement or contract for the hiring of any worker, or for the performance by any such worker within the Colony except as otherwise provided in this Ordinance, the wages of any such worker shall be made payable in Eastern Caribbean currency, or, with the consent in writing of the worker concerned, in any other currency which is legal tender in the Colony and not otherwise, and if any such agreement or contract the whole or any part of such wages shall be made payable in any other manner, such agreement or conduct shall be illegal, null and void.
Agreement as to place or manner of spending wages illegal.
4. (1) No employer shall by himself or by his agent impose in any agreement or contract written or unwritten for the employment of any worker any terms as to the place or the manner in which, or the person with whom, any wages or portion of wages paid to the worker are or is to be expended, and every such agreement or contract between an employer and a worker wherein any such terms are expressed or implied shall be illegal, null and void.
4. (2) Where stores for the sale of commodities to the workers are established or services are operated in connection with any undertaking, the workers concerned shall not be compelled either directly to make use of such stores or services.
4. (3) Any employer or other person who, directly imposes, as a condition of the payment of any wages or advance to a worker or a member of his family, any order or agreement as to the place or the manner in which or the person with whom any portion of such wages or advance is to bee expended, shall be guilty of an offence against this Ordinance.
Wages to be paid entirely in money, and on working day.
5. (1) Except where otherwise permitted by the provisions of this Ordinance, the entire amount of the wages earned by or payable to any worker in respect of any work done by him shall be actually paid to him in legal tender, and every payment of or on account of any such wages made in any other form shall be illegal, null and void:
Provided that the Labour Commissioner may permit or prescribe the payment of wages by bank cheque, postal order or money order in cases where payment in this manner may be desirable, or where any collective agreement or arbitration award so provides, or where the consent of the worker so to do is obtained.
5. (2) Except where otherwise expressly permitted by the provisions of this Ordinance, the payment of wages where made in legal tender shall be made on working days only and at or near the work-place.
Wages to be paid directly to workers.
6. Wages shall be paid directly to the worker to whom they are due or to a person specified by him in writing except as is provided in section 22.
Wages not to be paid in liquor or on certain premises.
7. No employer shall give to any worker any intoxicating liquor by way of remuneration for his services, or pay wages to any worker in any retail shop or place for the sale of any intoxicating liquor, wine, beer or other spirits, or in any shops or stores for the sale of merchandise, or in any place of amusement, or in any office of the places aforementioned:
Provided that nothing in this Ordinance shall be construed to prevent a worker from receiving his wages in any of the abovementioned places if he is bona fide employed therein.
Wages to be paid at regular intervals.
8. Wages shall be paid at regular intervals and shall be due to be paid-
(a) not less often than once a week in the case of workers whose wages are fixed by the hour or day or week;
(b) not less often than once a fortnight in the case of workers whose wages are fixed on a fortnightly basis;
(c) not less often than once a month in the case of workers whose wages are fixed on a monthly or annual basis;
(d) in the case of workers employed to perform a task the completion of which requires two weeks or more, not less often than once a fortnight in proportion to the amount of work completed:
Provided that the provisions of this section shall not apply where an agreement is entered into between an employer or employers or organizations of employers, on the one hand, and trade unions representative of the workers concerned, on the other, fixing other intervals for the payment of wages.
Payment of wages on termination contract.
9. (1) If a contract of service is terminated not less than one week before wages in respect of that contract of services become due to be paid, such wages shall be paid within one week of the termination of the contract.
9. (2) In the case of casual workers employed for short periods wages shall be paid immediately on completion of the work.
Remuneration other than wages.
10. Nothing in this Ordinance shall render illegal an agreement , or contract with a worker for giving to him food, dwelling-place or other allowances or privileges in addition to any wages as a remuneration for his services, but so that no employer shall give to a worker any intoxicating liquor or noxious drugs by way of such remuneration.
Workers right to recover.
11. Notwithstanding the provisions of any law every worker shall be entitled to recover in a court of summary jurisdiction so much of his wages exclusive of sums lawfully deducted in accordance with the provisions of this to him in Eastern Caribbean currency or other legal tender.
Wages in case of bankruptcy.
12. In the event of the bankruptcy or judicial liquidation of an undertaking, the workers employed therein shall be treated as privileged creditors either as regards all the wages due to them for service in respect of any period prior to the bankruptcy or judicial liquidation or up to a prescribed amount, as may be ordered by a court.
Rates of wages to be notified by employer to worker.
13. Employers shall take effective measures to ensure that all workers are informed in any appropriate and easily understandable manner-
(1) before they enter employment, and at least two weeks any changes take place, of the conditions of employment and the rates of remuneration under which they are to be employed;
(2) at the time of each payment of wages, of the particulars of their wages for the pay period concerned in so far as such particulars have been in any way altered.
Register of wage payment.
14. Every employer shall keep a register of wage payments and workers accounts, and every worker shall be entitled on demand to a copy of his account in any period.
Limitation of adventure wages.
15. (1) An employer may make cash advance on account of unearned wages to a worker during his employment but so that such advance shall not exceed-
(a) one week wages in the case of workers whose wages are fixed by the week.
(b) one fortnights wages in the case of workers whose wages are fixed on a fortnightly basis; and
(c) one months wages in the case of workers wages are fixed on a monthly basis:
Provided always that an employer may make such an advance to a worker not earlier than one week before the agreed date of employment, and the employer shall at the time of making such advance, inform the worker of the amount of the advance permitted in his case.
Interest on advance prohibited.
16. No employer shall make any deductions by way of discount, interest or any similar charge on account of any advance of wages made to any worker in anticipation of the regular period of payment of such wages.
Illegal advances to irrecoverable.
17. All advances made otherwise than in accordance with the provisions of this Ordinance or any Regulations made thereunder shall be unlawful and shall be irrecoverable in a court of law whether by way of counterclaim, set-off or otherwise.
Deductions or payments fines restricted.
18. Except where otherwise expressly permitted by the provisions of this Ordinance or of any other Ordinance no employer shall make any deduction or make any agreement or contract with a worker for any deduction from the wages to be paid by the employer to the worker, or for any payment to the employer by the worker, for or in respect of any fine, or for bad negligent work or for injury to the materials or other property of the employer save with the prior permission of the Labour Commissioner when such injury is occasioned by the willful misconduct or neglect of the worker.
Certain deductions authorized.
19. Any employer may deduct or stop from the wages payable to a worker under a contract of service-
(a) the actual or estimated cost to the employer of any materials, tools and implements, supplied by the employer to the worker at the latters request to be used by him in his occupation ; or
(b) any cash advance previously lawfully made to the worker on account of unearned wages; or
(c) the amount of any contribution to a provident or pension fund or any scheme agreed to in writing by the worker and approved by the Labour Commissioner:
Provided that the total amount which may be stopped or deducted from the wages of a worker in any pay period under the provisions of this section shall not exceed one-third of the wages of the worker in that pay period.
Deductions for obtaining or retaining employment prohibited.
20. Deductions in the form of direct or indirect payments for the purpose of obtaining or retaining employment shall not be made from the wages of a worker by an employer, or by any intermediary or labour contractor or recruiter.
Saving as to judgment debts.
21. During the period of his contract, a worker receiving an advance under this Ordinance shall not by reason only of such advance be deemed to have or to have had means and ability to pay any sum due to him under any judgment of a court.
Limitations on attachment or seizure of wages.
22. (1) Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law the wages of a worker shall be liable to attachment or seizure in execution only with the following limits:-
(a) up to one-half in respect of maintenance payments;
(b) up to one-third in respect of all debts of any kind and however contracted.
22. (2) The proportions prescribed in the preceding subsection shall not be applicable cumulatively on the ground that there are several debts or several creditors, the maximum proportion in all cases remaining fifty per centum of the wages. The sums attached or seized shall be divided among the claimants in proportion to their established claims.
23. Nothing in this Ordinance shall be held to apply to members of a co-operative working on a co-operative basis or individuals engaging in an ad hoc co-operative effort.
24. (1) Any employer or his agent who-
(a) enters into any agreement or contract or gives any remuneration for employment contrary to the provisions of this Ordinance or declared by the Provisions of this Ordinance to be illegal: or
(b) makes any deduction from the wages of any worker or receives any payment form any worker contrary to the provisions of this Ordinance; or
(c) contravenes the provisions of Section 7 of this Ordinance;
shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars.
24. (2) Any employer or other person who acts in contravention of or fails to comply with any of the provisions of this Ordinance shall be guilty of an offence and where no special penalty is provided shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars.
Actual offender to be proceeded against.
25. (1) Where an employer is charged with an offence under the provisions of this Ordinance he shall be entitled, upon information duly laid by him, to have any other person whom laid by him, he charges as the actual offender brought before the Court at the time appointed for hearing the charge, and if, after the commission of the offence has proved, the employer proves to the satisfaction of the court that he has used due diligence to enforce the provisions of this Ordinance and that the other person has committed the offence in question without his knowledge , consent or connivance, the said other person shall be summarily convicted of such offence and the employer shall be exempt from any penalty.
25. (2) When it is made to appear to the satisfaction of the Labour Commissioner at the time of discovering the offence that the employer has used due diligence to enforce the provisions of this Ordinance and also by what person such offence has been committed, and also that it has been committed without the knowledge, consent or connivance of the employer, then the Labour Commissioner shall proceed against the person whom he believes to be the actual offender in the first instance without first proceeding against the employer.
25. (3) On the hearing of a compliant charging an offence under paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of section 24 of this Ordinance, the court may on the offence being proven order the employer or his agent to pay to the worker concerned that part of the wages found to have been deducted or as case may be received as payment contrary to the provisions of this Ordinance.
25. (4) Payment of any sum ordered by a Court to be paid under subsection (3) of this section may be enforced in the manner prescribed by section 104 of the Magistrates Code of Procedure Act.
25. (5) The power of the Court to make an order under subsection ( 3) of this section shall not be in derogation of any right of the worker concerned to recover the sum by any other proceedings:
Provided that no worker shall be entitled in other proceedings to recover any amount which a Court has ordered to be paid under the provisions of subsection (3) of this section.
Power to make regulations.
26. (1) The Administrator in Council may make Regulations generally for the proper carrying out of the provisions of this Ordinance.
26. (2) Regulations made under this Ordinance may prescribe for any contravention thereof or failure to comply therewith a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars on summary conviction.
Prosecution to be instituted within one year of offence.
27. No prosecution for any offence under this Ordinance shall be instituted after the expiration of one year from the date of the commission of the offence.
28. This Ordinance shall come into force on a date to be appointed by the Administrator by proclamation published in the