THE proposed minimum wage will tighten loopholes to prevent employees from being exploited by employers.
Responding to concerns raised at the Ministry of Labour consultation in Labasa yesterday, minimum wage consultant Doctor Mahendra Reddy said it was imperative to tighten loopholes in the proposed regulation to prevent employers from escaping the law of minimum wage.
He made the comment after an employee questioned how fair it was for employers to train newly-recruited workers who would only resign and find better opportunities.
"For example, new graduates come in and they initially join a firm and are trained and then they move to other companies after getting trained by the company they first joined," a participant questioned.
"With the companies providing training, will it be fair on them as they are training providers?"
Dr Reddy said employees were taken in as trainees for a minimum period of three months where training was provided.
"And the minimum wage rate will be applicable to them for the first three months.
"Those employees can be designated as a trainee and therefore in some cases, minimum wage may not apply but after three months it must," he said.
"It is something for the ministry to look at but the danger is that employers can say that the trainee is not ready and so they will continue with another period of training and this can continue for more than three months."
Ministry's permanent secretary Taito Waqa said they needed to tighten such loopholes.
"We don't want anything to happen to defeat the purpose of minimum wage."