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Permitting system to begin in January

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Oct. 6, 2008) - PNG will have a new law to regulate the employment of foreigners by next January, the Labour and Industrial Relations Department has said.

The department has given notice that before the Employment of Non-Citizens Act 2007 is enforced, education and awareness would be conducted to ensure stakeholders are aware of their responsibilities under the new law.

In a notice last Thursday, Secretary David Tibu said stakeholders should be informed about the work permit processing arrangements during the transitional period leading up to the introduction of the new law.

Mr. Tibu encouraged all employers who were considering engaging non-citizen workers in future to finalize their requirement processes and submit their work permit by December 5.

He added that the department would consider applications for urgent short-term work permit applications during the shutdown period but only if there was a genuine need

Meanwhile, the foreign employment division offices at Moale Haus, Waigani, would be closed from December 5 to next January 5.

After this time, new work permit applications in accordance with the new law would be applicable.

During the closure period, staff processing all outstanding work permits would receive training in the requirements of the new law

Employers have been urged to contact the department as soon as possible if they wanted to renew the work permits of current non-citizen employees that are due from this month to December.

Tibu said that work permits that were due for renewal next January or February, must also be brought to the department sooner for them to be processed in advance.

"I appeal to the clients and stakeholders of the work permit system for their assistance as we move to our new law to ensure a smooth transition into the new legal framework but we require the public’s assistance to ensure we achieve this objective," Tibu said.

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