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GOVERNMENT: No Wage Discrimination, Minister Usamate Urges

GOVERNMENT: No Wage Discrimination, Minister Usamate Urges
Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations Jone Usamate hears concerns on employment issues from members of the community in Lautoka last week. Photo: DEPTFO News
October 13
11:14 2017

The Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations, Jone Usamate, has urged employers not to discriminate workers on employment minimum terms and conditions.

This was in response to a query raised during the public consultation held in the Western Division last week.

A worker employed with a prominent organisation in the West raised that the company has been remunerating low wage rates for Lautoka workers compared to workers in Suva who are receiving a higher wage rate that performed similar type of work.

Mr Usamate highlighted that it was unlawful under the Employment Relations Act (ERA) 2007 to discriminate a worker and that equal employment opportunities must prevail at all times.

“Section 78 of the ERA stated that an employer must not refuse or omit to offer or afford a person the same rates of remuneration as is made available for persons of the same or substantially similar qualifications employed in the same or substantially similar circumstances for any reason including the gender of that person,” Mr Usamate said.

“All workers must receive equal pay of work of equal value. Workers are not to be discriminated on the grounds of personal characteristics or circumstances including ethnic origin, colour, place of origin, gender, sexual orientation, birth, primary language, economic status, age, disability, social class, marital status, employment status, family status, opinion, religion or belief.”

Parties urged to engage

in good faith dialogue

Mr Usamate also encouraged the Federated Airline Staff Association (FASA) and the Air Terminal Services Limited (ATS) to continue to engage in good faith dialogue to implement the Settlement Agreement reached by the Parties through the mediation process conducted by the Ministry.   

The Employment Minister had met with the parties last week and was now urging the parties to continue to engage in good faith dialogue in line with the provisions of the Employment Relations Act 2007 and the spirit of good faith employment relations.   

The Ministry of Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations, as part of its process, is available to assist the two parties in getting the best possible solutions within the ambit of good faith employment relations and dialogue. 

The Fijian Government has always ensured that workers in Fiji are given the best terms and conditions of employment and better pay to carry out their work in accordance with the Government’s vision of building a better Fiji.

Mr Usamate has also highlighted that disputes can be resolved through good faith dialogue using the mechanism provided under the Employment Relations Act 2007.

The Minister further stressed that the Fijian Government was fully committed in upholding the values enshrined in the ILO Conventions signed by Fiji.

Feedback:  jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

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