The Solomon Islands government has increased the legal minimum wage rate for employees in all sectors in the country after a period of twelve years.

Minister for Commerce, Industries and Employment, Francis Billy Hilly ordered the increase following a cabinet decision last Wednesday.

The new increase will be effective starting May 1.

The new rate for all sectors is four dollars per hour while the new rate for the Agriculture and Fisheries sector three dollars 20 cent per hour.

Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Commerce Jeffery Wickham says the government decision to increase the minimum wage was made following a unilateral consultation process between various groups last year.

The groups included relevant government ministries, the Central Bank, the private sector and other interested parties.

Mr. Wickham said the reason to delay the enforcement of the new rate till May 1 is to allow employers to adjust their business activities to comply with the new rates.

He said the increase is now legal and calls on employers to comply with the government decision.