NATION

Usamate Advises On Employing Children 15 Years And Above

The Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations, Jone Usamate is advising parents and guardians to be mindful of the regulations surrounding the employment of children this festive season. Mr
15 Dec 2016 18:25
Usamate Advises On Employing Children 15 Years And Above
Minister for Employment Jone Usamate (fourth from left), with Philippines Deputy Administrator Management, Services and Regional Operations Amuerfina Reyes and the Fijian delegation in in Manila, Philippines. Photo: DEPTFO News

The Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations, Jone Usamate is advising parents and guardians to be mindful of the regulations surrounding the employment of children this festive season.

Mr Usamate said that the Ministry’s Labour Compliance Officers were currently on the ground conducting awareness and investigating cases where child labour was involved.

“The festive season is a time when people love to spend money on shopping, travelling and holidays and children should not be the reason for earning extra income for their families’ pockets to support these activities,” said Mr Usamate.

He said stated that his Ministry has conducted awareness for a total of 50 sugarcane farmers, 40 Police officers and 20 labour officers in the Western and Northern division on child labour and its withdrawal process as part of the interagency co-operation which was in line with the interagency guideline signed by the partners on December 17, 2015.

“The ministry has also conducted community based awareness around Fiji including school teachers and parents in ensuring that children are given the proper care and education and no underage child is seen working,” said Mr Usamate.

In employing a child, the Minister is urging all employers to ensure that they comply with the minimum terms and conditions stipulated under Part 10 of the Employment Relations Promulgation 2007.

“The condition stipulates that a child must be 15 years and above and can only be employed for eight hours with 30 minutes paid break for every hour of work,” said Minister Usamate.

“They must engage in light work and not any work that is hazardous and harmful to their health, mental, spiritual or social development.

“The child must return to his/her parents/guardians at the end of each day’s employment and the child should be paid the minimum rates as stipulated in the 2015 Wages Regulations and the National Minimum Wage.”

Mr Usamate said that any person found employing a child outside the terms and conditions stipulated under the Employment Relations Promulgation 2007 shall be guilty of an offence and the conviction for an individual is a fine of $10,000 or two years imprisonment or both and for a corporation or a company a fine not exceeding $50,000.

The Ministry has so far conducted a total of 3475 labour inspections on compliance and child labour issues from January to November 2016.

Source: DEPTFO News

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