Here is the Guide and Policy for our Salary Section here at Ministry of Finance and National Planning.
The following principles apply to remuneration:
(a) remuneration shall be affordable to the Government, fair and appropriate within the Tongan
(b) remuneration policy shall link job performance with the pay of deserving employees;
(c) job evaluation shall be used to assess or re-assess the grade of any post;
(d) the responsibilities actually carried out by any post holder shall be the same as those
assessed by job evaluation to determine the grading of the post;
(e) salary scales shall be reviewed formally at least once every 3 years to consider salary
variations in the various job classes and recruitment-retention issues;
(f) a fair and reasonably objective system of performance appraisal shall be applied to
determine employees deserving recognition for their job performance;
(g) salary scales shall be adjusted periodically in response to cost of living changes;
(h) salary increments shall be used to give recognition to employees with a job performance that
(i) a lump sum payment in lieu of a salary, increments may be granted to deserving employees
at the top of their respective salary scale;
(j) employees may receive a salary increment(s) for the attainment of a substantive, high level,
relevant qualification from a recognized tertiary institution and professional qualification;
(k) employees considered overpaid may have their salary frozen until appropriate adjustments
can be made;
(l) any changes in remuneration may be implemented over time and as they become affordable
to the Government.
(a) Heads of Department shall ensure that there is an adequate system of control over the
employment and the extent of all salaries and wages costs.
(b) Heads of Department shall ensure that detailed instructions are issued to accounting officers,
time-keepers and supervisors, on the method to be used for the recording and checking of
attendance and of overtime authorized and worked.
The Public Service Commission, with the approval of Cabinet, shall set scales of salary and wages for:
(a) all classifications and all grades;
(b) daily paid workers; and
(c) contract employees.
An employee taking up a new appointment shall be paid at the minimum point of the salary scale of the
post appointed to.
(a) If the salary of the employee was less than the minimum of the new grade he shall receive the
minimum and his new incremental date will be determined as in policy 8 below. And if the
difference between his salary and the minimum of the new grade is less than the first full
increment in the salary for the new grade then he will receive one increment.
(b) If the employee was qualifying for the final increment in the salary scale of his former post and
if the maximum of that scale is the same as the minimum of his new scale, then he will receive
the minimum but will retain his incremental date.
(c) If the employee is promoted to a post the minimum of the salary scale of which is equal to or
lower than his substantive salary immediately prior to promotion he will receive one increment
in the new scale and his incremental date will be determined as in policy 8 below.
(d) If an employee is promoted to a post he is presently acting in, he will be paid at the salary he is
receiving during the acting appointment and his incremental date will be the date that he started
A re-employed employee shall normally be paid at the rate of pay he was receiving when he resigned
(a) if the employee is re-employed in a higher grade, his pay shall be calculated under the normal
rules for starting pay, i.e. at the minimum of the appropriate salary scale;
(b) if the employee is re-employed in a lower grade, he shall re-enter at the point closest to that at
which he left and previous relevant experience shall be taken into account in determining
(c) if the employee is re-employed in his old scale, and if the scale of the grade has been improved
since his termination, he shall re-enter the scale at the point at which he left it, and be paid at the
new rate for that point of the scale; and previous relevant experience shall be taken into account in
determining additional increments;
(d) if the employee was previously dismissed, his starting pay shall be at the minimum point of the
appropriate salary scale.
(a) An increment is an increase in salary of a specified amount, which provided certain conditions
are fulfilled, and is granted with the approval of the Head of Department at regular intervals until
a stated maximum is reached. If those conditions are not fulfilled, an employee’s increment may
be deferred or withheld on the recommendation of the Head of Department and with the
approval of the Public Service Commission.
(b) That the granting of annual increment shall be linked only to performance of duties at post.
(a) For employees whose date of appointment or promotion is in the first half of the month, their
incremental date is the first day of that month;
(b) For employees whose date of appointment or promotion is in the second half of the month, their
incremental date is the first day of the following month.
In cases where an employee has consistently rendered services of exceptional and extraordinary merit in
terms of diligence and fidelity over a period of several years, the Public Service Commission may approve
the award to that employee of a double increment. Recommendations for a double increment shall be
submitted only when increment is due.
The computation and payment of salaries shall be made in accordance with the instructions issued by the Ministry of Finance.
Head of Department shall ensure that payment of salaries is suspended immediately when:
(a) an employee is resigning or retiring;
(b) an employee is suspended pending investigation on alleged misconduct;
(c) an employee fails to resume duty from leave, until a final decision is made.
(a) for employees who are away overseas or on leave at the time of successful completion of
training - the date of resumption of duty.
(b) for serving employees - the date of official notification from the Institution.
(a) where the minimum educational qualification for appointment to a grade is the Tonga School
Certificate or its equivalent, an appointee with Pacific Senior Secondary Certificate or its
equivalent receives one increment and an appointee with New Zealand Bursary or its equivalent
receives two increments;
(b) where the minimum educational qualification for appointment to a grade is Pacific Senior
Secondary Certificate or its equivalent, an appointee with New Zealand Bursary or its equivalent
receives one increment;
(c) where the minimum educational qualification for appointment to a grade is Pacific Senior
Secondary Certificate or its equivalent (including New Zealand Bursary, or its equivalent) an
appointee with relevant degree course passes from the University of the South Pacific (or the
equivalent from a recognised University) receives one increment for passes amounting to the
equivalent of a full year's degree course. Degree courses shall be approved as relevant by the
Public Service Commission in advance of the course of study to qualify for an increment and
confirmation shall be required from the University Extension Centre that the equivalent of a full
year's degree course has been achieved;
(d) that an employee who is holding a post in a salary scale equivalent to or higher than that for
graduate is entitled to receive one increment in the event he successfully obtained a Bachelor
Degree from a recognised University in a discipline relevant to the work of the Department;
(e) where the minimum educational qualification for appointment to a grade is a relevant Bachelor's
degree from a recognised University an appointee with a relevant Master's degree from a
recognised University receives two increments;
(f) any appointee with a Master's degree from a recognised University in a discipline relevant to the
work of the Department to which he is appointed, receives two increments;
(g) any appointee with a Doctorate degree from a recognised University in a discipline relevant to the
work of the Department to which he is appointed, receives three increments;
(h) any appointee with multiple degrees of the same level from a recognised University receives one
increment for each extra degree;
(i) employees who obtained a diploma or equivalent qualification the minimum period for the
completion of which is at least one academic year in a discipline approved by Government receive
(j) employees holding posts, where the salary scale is lower than that for graduates, who successfully
pass not less than the equivalent of a full year's relevant degree course at the University of the
South Pacific (or the equivalent from a recognised University), receive one increment. Degree
courses shall be approved as relevant by the Public Service Commission in advance of the course
of study to qualify for increment and confirmation shall be required from the University Extension
Centre that the equivalent of a full year's degree course has been achieved;
(k) employees on full time overseas study scholarships shall qualify only for normal annual increment
subject to satisfactory performance;
(l) incremental credits shall be payable only up to the maximum of the relevant salary scale and in the
event the employee is at the maximum point of that scale, then when that employee is next
promoted, the payment of such incremental credits may be made at that appropriate salary scale;
(m) a medical officer who is a University Graduate shall be appointed at one point above the
appropriate salary scale with an extra increment for completion of internship.
Where a duty allowance is attached to an appointment, this allowance shall be payable to the holder of the
post only while he is actually performing the duties of that post.
An employee on acting appointment is to be paid an allowance equivalent to the amount receive by the
employee if promoted to the higher grade.
(a) Charge allowances may be payable when an employee is asked to carry out temporarily the duties
of a post which are greater than those of his/her substantive post where the employee does not
possess the necessary qualifications for the post concerned or where the difference in ranks is too
great to justify full acting appointment.
(b) The amount paid in addition to normal salary would be at the rate of 10% of the minimum of the
scale of the post temporarily held.
Ministry of Finance Tonga,Phone: +676 23066, Fax: +676 26011, Address: P.O. Box 87, Nuku'alofa, Tonga