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Workers employed during Diwali entitled to double pay: Usamate

Minister for Employment, Productitvity and Industrial Relations Jone Usamate said workers who were working during the Diwali holiday were entitled to double pay. “If a worker is employed during Diwali,
23 Oct 2017 12:42
Workers employed during Diwali entitled to double pay: Usamate

Minister for Employment, Productitvity and Industrial Relations Jone Usamate said workers who were working during the Diwali holiday were entitled to double pay.

“If a worker is employed during Diwali, then the worker is entitled to double pay,” Mr Usamate said.

The matter was highlighted by Mr Usamate following queries on public holiday pay for Fiji Day and Diwali.

“A worker who is employed on any of the gazetted public holidays will be entitled for public holiday pay.”

Mr Usamate said those who did not turn up for work when they were rostered needed to provide a valid reason.

  “The worker must be at work a day before and after the public holiday and if they are unable to do so then they must provide a valid reason or a medical certificate,” he said.

The Minister highlighted that Section 67 of the Employment Relations Act (ERA) 2007 states that a worker must be paid in respect of each public holiday for the number of hours which the worker would normally have worked on that day had it not been a   public holiday.

Minister Usamate said if a worker did not come to work on Diwali, then they would be paid public holiday pay, but on a single rate.

Double pay is calculated by (Option 1) multiplying the single rate by two (2); OR (Option 2) adding another single pay to the initial single pay.

Employers can pay triple pay for their workers in good faith and in recognition of their work during the public holiday, which will be an internal agreement by both employers and workers.

Mr Usamate appealed to all employers who operated during these public holidays to remunerate their workers accordingly.

The compliance team of the Ministry is conducting its investigation and inspections to ensure that workers are paid their rightful dues on time for their hard work, any employer that fails to remunerate their workers accordingly will be guilty of an offence and will be on conviction liable to a fine for an individual not exceeding $10,000 or a term of imprisonment not exceeding two years or both and for a company or corporation a fine not exceeding $50,000.

Source: DEPTFO

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