The Fijian government is to bring into force several new provisions to the existing Labour Law to make it more equitable and beneficial to the workforce, Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations Minister Jone Usamate has said.
Speaking at a public consultation meeting held at the Naviivi Village on Friday, August 24, 2018, he said that several provisions of the Law will become effective on January 1, 2019.
“These would include sick leave, bereavement leave (three days), paternity and family care leave (five days) and other benefits,” he said.
Mr Usamate said that the Law does not cover people on trial or probationary period.
He said that people should be in employment for more than three months to quality for other entitlements stipulated under the Labour Law.
“The first three months of employment is a qualifier for a worker to receive other employment entitlements. This qualifying period will be inclusive in any employment contract period and should not be distinctive,” he said.
The Act will cover only casual and permanent employment and would not include temporary or part-time employees, he added.
Public awareness imperative
“People in general and workers in particular must understand clearly the provisions of the new Law and employee entitlements. Anyone can seek clarifications from the Ministry if they are unsure about any employment terms and conditions,” Mr Usamate said.
He said that the first public consultation process was successful and that the ministry had received many queries on the terms and conditions of employment for the Hotel and Catering industries and other Government Ministries and Departments.
Jone Usamate with members of the Tikina Wainikeli community and Hotel owners of Qamea