Fiji’s Minimum Wage Now In Effect: Labour Minister

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Fiji’s Minimum Wage Now In Effect: Labour Minister $2 per hour wage geared towards alleviating poverty

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, March 18, 2014) – Fiji's new minimum wage of $2 [US$1.07] per hour announced by the government last month came into force on March 1, confirms the Minister for Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Jone Usamate.

Usamate in a government statement said the National Minimum Wage (NMW) Regulations had been gazetted and all relevant employers must adjust their workers’ wage levels and employment conditions to comply with the NMW Regulations and the Employment Relations Promulgation 2007 (ERP).

"The NMW rate of $2 will cover all employers in the informal sector, including employers in the formal sector not covered under the 10 current Wages Regulations Orders (WROs). It will benefit a total of at least 72,000 workers," Usamate said.

"The overarching objective of this major wage policy is to alleviate poverty among the most marginalised workers in the informal and formal sectors. It is to build a better Fiji for these workers, who have been disadvantaged and disregarded for a long period of time."

This historical initiative is in line with government’s commitment under the Peoples Charter for Change, Peace and Progress (PCCPP) on reducing poverty to a negligible level by 2015 while enhancing workplace and national productivity.

Usamate cautions employers not to pay below the NMW ($2 per hour) rate and encourages employers to adopt a productivity-based performance system. He said the workers’ rights stipulated in the NMW Regulations were in addition to their rights under the Employment Relations Promulgation .

"All entitlements and fundamental principles of rights at work under the ERP are still applicable to all workers covered under the NMW Regulations. For example, workers entitlements such as annual leave, public holiday leave, maternity leave, sick leave, bereavement leave and all other benefits provided under the ERP must be fully awarded when due," he added.

Under the regulations all employers are required to display a written NMW notice in their workplaces for the purpose of informing and educating the workers.

The minister reiterates that on the spot fine of $100 will be issued if employers refuse to follow any part of the NMW Regulations and further penalties will be issued upon breach of the Regulations. On conviction, an employer is liable to a fine of $20,000 or two years imprisonment or both.

The ministry in its effort to provide efficient and effective supportive role for the implementation of the NMW has established a Wages Unit which will provide professional secretariat support to the 10 WROs.

Usamate said his ministry would continue to promote the fundamental social justice principles and rights at work with the implementation of the various components of Labour Reforms including the realisation of decent wages, decent conditions and decent work environment that promotes dignity in the workplace for all types of work.

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I would like to know what is the labour rate for Carwash labours and how long can they work

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