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'Xenophobic' trend

Repeka Nasiko
Sunday, October 29, 2017

THERE is a sense of "xenophobia" when it comes to hiring expatriates for local positions, says Attorney-General and Minister for Economy and Civil Service Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

Speaking at a panel discussion at the Fiji Institute of Human Resources Convention in Nadi on Friday, he said organisations needed to treat offshore employees the same as locals.

"I can't speak for private companies but I can most certainly talk about the civil service and for us all expatriates and non-expatriates are treated the same," he said.

"We all have the same contracts while others have slightly different contracts because they may be moving from offshore but they all have the same contract with respect to KPIs (key performance indicators).

"Everybody has a KPI and they have to perform, if they don't they are cautioned or counselled. The same rule applies to everybody.

"Frankly, I believe some people are becoming xenophobic about it.

"Why are we being xenophobic?"

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said Fijians were being hired in other regional countries, making them expatriates.

"We have people from Fiji who are going overseas. We have people from BSP going to work in Papua New Guinea.

"We have PNG taking our people from CAAF (Civil Aviation Authority of Fiji).

"We have Westpac people going to Vanuatu and Solomon Islands. The global movement is there so let's not be xenophobic about it."

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said hiring the right people should be the core focus for an organisation.

"The point I'm trying to get at is we need to get the right people doing the right job because if you have the right people for the right job, that organisation, whether it's the civil service or a bank or a hotel, will grow and do well," he said.

"When it does well, they make profit, their service will improve, their profit margin will improve and they are able to get a bigger footprint."

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