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Employers face probe

Aqela Susu
Friday, November 03, 2017

ONE hundred and seventy employers are being investigated by the Ministry of Employment, Industrial Relations and Productivity for failing to pay their workers according to the revised national minimum wage rate and under sectorial-based minimum wages.

This was revealed by the Minister for Employment, Industrial Relations and Productivity, Jone Usamate, who confirmed the ministry's compliance section was investigating the matter.

"The ministry, as part of its compliance and inspection process is investigating a total of 18 cases for the month of October 2017 under the national minimum wage and 152 cases also for the month of October for 10 Sectorial based minimum wages," he said.

"These cases have been reported to the ministry after workers identified that they were not paid their rightful wage rates together with annual holiday and sick leave, and public holiday pay."

The national minimum wage was revised from $2.42 to $2.68 per hour. It came into effect on September 30.

And this meant all employers in Fiji who were covered under the national minimum wages must pay their unskilled workers their rightful dues of $2.68 per hour of work.

"This will ensure that we alleviate poverty by having a guaranteed national minimum wage for workers as this will ensure that they have steady income on a weekly basis,"said Mr Usamate.

Mr Usamate urged all Fijian employers to pay the rightful minimum wage rates to their workers to ensure there was good faith employment relations.

He said paying workers the right pay at the right time would also enable workers to perform better.

Mr Usamate also confirmed employers failing to adhere to the payment of the revised national minimum wage rate could face spot fines of $500 and upon conviction by the Employment Tribunal, would be fined not exceeding $20,000 or a term of imprisonment not exceeding two years or both.

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