Wage deductions can include medical insurance

From August 1, 2018, the authorised deductions from wages with the written consent of a worker now includes medical insurance. Picture: TIMOCI VULA

FROM August 1, 2018, the authorised deductions from wages with the written consent of a worker now includes medical insurance.

The recent law amendment under the Employment Relations (Budget Amendment) Act 2018 means that an employer may, with the written consent of the worker, deduct an amount due by the worker as a contribution to medical insurance and must on behalf of the worker pay the amount deducted for medical insurance.

Previously, the law did not permit deductions of more than 50 per cent from the wages or salaries of an employee.

The move is aimed at enabling more Fijians to obtain life and medical insurance policies and maintain these polices through direct deductions from their wages and salaries.

According to Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations Jone Usamate, the authorised deductions that had existed in the law and continues to do so were contributions to the provident fund, school fund, pension fund, sports fund, superannuation scheme, life insurance or medical scheme, credit union, trade union, co-operative society or other funds or schemes of which a worker is a member.

Mr Usamate stated that now the law also provided that with the exception of deductions in respect of life or medical insurance or a medical scheme, any authorised deductions with the written consent of a worker must not, in a wage period, be more than 50 per cent of the wages due to a worker except for housing purposes from an approved lender where the deductions permitted may be up to 75 per cent.

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