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Brunei Darussalam

Salary and Compensation Insights

Explore salary structures and compensation details in Brunei Darussalam

Market competitive salaries

Determining market competitive salaries in Brunei Darussalam requires a nuanced approach, considering various factors beyond a national average. Brunei Darussalam boasts a relatively small economy with a focus on the oil and gas industry. This industry offers some of the highest salaries in the country. However, salaries can vary significantly across different sectors and professions.

Reliable Salary Data Sources

To gain a more accurate picture, explore resources like the Salary Guideline by The Manpower Planning and Employment Council (MPEC). This recently introduced initiative provides a standardized range of salary scales for various job positions. While not a legally mandated guide, it offers valuable insights into expected salary ranges based on qualifications and experience. Paylab.com is another resource that allows users to search for average salaries in Brunei based on job titles and experience levels.

Location Matters

While Brunei Darussalam is a relatively small nation, the cost of living can vary slightly across districts. The capital, Bandar Seri Begawan, might see slightly higher living expenses compared to rural areas. Employers might consider location-based adjustments to salaries, particularly for positions in remote areas where living costs might be lower.

Industry Specificity

Certain industries in Brunei Darussalam, like oil and gas, finance, or aviation, typically offer higher salaries compared to others like retail or hospitality. Utilize job boards or salary comparison tools to compare salaries for specific roles across different industries.

Skills and Experience

An employee's skillset and experience significantly impact their market value. Someone with specialized skills, professional certifications, or extensive experience in a particular field can command a higher salary than someone with a more general skillset or less experience.

Total Compensation Package

Competitive salaries go beyond just base pay. Benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans, and flexible work arrangements can all contribute to a more attractive compensation package. When evaluating job offers, don't solely focus on the base salary. Factor in the entire benefits package to understand the complete value proposition.

Minimum wage

Brunei Darussalam stands out in its approach to worker compensation as it does not have a mandated minimum wage established by national legislation. This is confirmed by the Ministry of Labour in their guide. Employee salaries are determined through negotiation and mutual agreement between employers and employees.

No Legislative Minimum Wage

In Brunei, there is no national minimum wage enshrined in law.

Alternative Wage Setting Mechanisms

In the absence of a mandated minimum wage, alternative mechanisms guide wage determination:

  • Collective Bargaining Agreements: Trade unions can negotiate minimum wage benchmarks for specific industries through collective bargaining agreements with employer associations.
  • Market Forces: Supply and demand in the labor market play a significant role in determining wages. Industries with high skill requirements or labor shortages might offer higher wages to attract and retain talent.

Salary Guidelines by MPEC

The Manpower Planning and Employment Council (MPEC) introduced Salary Guidelines in 2023. These guidelines provide a standardized range of salary scales for various job positions based on qualifications and experience. The MPEC Salary Guidelines serve as a reference point for employers when setting salaries, but they are not mandatory.

Potential Impact on Workers

The lack of a national minimum wage can raise concerns about potential vulnerability for low-skilled workers. However, Brunei boasts a robust social safety net with government subsidies for housing, utilities, and basic necessities that can help mitigate some of these concerns.

Bonuses and allowances

In Brunei Darussalam, employee compensation extends beyond the base salary. Many companies offer bonuses and allowances to attract and retain talent.

Performance-based Bonuses

  • Yearly Bonuses: These are common, particularly for private sector employees, and are often tied to company performance or individual achievements.

  • Holiday Bonuses: Some companies provide additional bonuses around major holidays like Hari Raya Aidilfitri or Christmas.

Industry-Specific Bonuses

  • Doctors' Bonuses: In the government sector, doctors under the Ministry of Health can receive bonuses of one month's basic salary annually (for lower grades) or half a month's for higher grades.

These are just examples, and the type and amount of bonuses offered will vary depending on the company, industry, and employee's position.


Allowances are regular payments made to employees to cover work-related expenses. Here are some common types:

  • Housing Allowance: This helps offset housing costs, which can be significant in urban areas.

  • Transportation Allowance: This may be a fixed amount or reimbursement for commuting expenses.

  • Education Allowance: Some companies, particularly in the government sector, offer allowances for employee's children's education.

  • On-Call Allowance: This is given to employees who are required to be available outside of regular working hours for emergencies or critical situations.

Companies may also offer other allowances depending on the specific job requirements, such as:

  • Meal Allowance
  • Clothing Allowance
  • Mobile Phone Allowance

Payroll cycle

In Brunei Darussalam, the payroll cycle system is relatively straightforward. The most common payroll cycle observed is monthly, aligning with international practices and ensuring regular salary receipt for employees.

Payment Frequency

In addition to the monthly salary, there's also the concept of a 13th month salary. However, it's important to note that the 13th or 14th month salary is not a statutory requirement in Brunei. It functions more as a bonus paid at the employer's discretion.


Standard overtime practices are adhered to in Brunei. Any work performed beyond the standard working hours is considered overtime and must be compensated accordingly. Specific regulations regarding overtime pay rates and calculation methods might be outlined in individual employment contracts or company policies.

Additional Considerations

Employers in Brunei are responsible for mandatory contributions to various social security schemes on behalf of their employees. These schemes provide benefits like pensions and healthcare. Furthermore, taxation on salaries in Brunei follows a tiered structure. Once employees surpass a set threshold, they become liable to income tax.

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