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SUVA, Fiji Islands (February 6, 2002 - Daily Post/PINA Nius Online)---Women in the Fiji civil service now can expect their full salary each time they go on maternity leave.

Currently, employment conditions in the service limit women to three confinements on full salary.

Any subsequent confinement entitles female employees only to the minimum F$ 5 (US$ 2.20) a day for the maternity leave period, as stipulated in the Employment Act.

The proposal to change the current conditions was put forward to the Public Service Commission by Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase.

The decision to make the changes has been applauded by unions, women’s groups and the Ministry of Labor.

Fiji Trades Union Congress Education and Publicity Officer Abdul Khan said the Government had made a positive move on this critical issue that directly affects women and their families.

The situation, however, is far worse in the private sector, where women receive only F$ 5 (US$ 2.20) per day beginning with their first confinement.

Principal Labor Officer Sainivalati Kuruduadua said a working paper recommending a similar benefit for women in the private sector is currently under review in the Attorney General’s Office.

Once approved it would be forwarded to Cabinet for endorsement.

For additional reports from Fiji’s Daily Post, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Other News Resources/FijiLive.

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: http://www.pinanius.org 

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