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The employer and employee had entered a written contract of employment. However, during the employment, a statutory instrument made pursuant to the Minimum Wages and Conditions of Employment Act came into effect. As a result of this statutory instrument, certain minimum wages were prescribed for protected employees, of which the employee in question was one. The employer thereafter offered him a reduced salary as his current salary was above that prescribed by the statutory instrument. The employee complained about the employer’s conduct and declined the offer, as he considered it to be a unilateral alteration of his conditions of service. He was subsequently dismissed.

The Supreme Court was categorical that the legislation is not intended to pull down an employee’s terms and conditions which are higher than those provided for in the Ministerial Orders. The Supreme Court confirmed that basic and minimum wages and conditions of employment that are provided for are intended to set the basic minimum for contracts of employment. For protected employees, the conditions of service in the Ministerial Orders apply in the absence of express agreement between the parties. These are terms which are deemed by the court to be present in the contract of employment because they concern employment rights that are created by the Employment Code Act or other relevant statutes.