SUNBIZ

Council Calls For Family Care Leave Practice Statement From Government

"The Family Care Leave which has been effective from January 1, this year, under Employment Rela­tions Act will be taken by workers who wish to provide care and sup­port to members of the worker’s immediate family."
21 Mar 2019 14:02
Council Calls For Family Care Leave Practice Statement From Government
Minister for Employment, Parveen Kumar.

The Textile, Clothing and Footwear Industry Coun­cil is calling on a practice statement from Government on the newly introduced Family Care Leave.

The Family Care Leave which has been effective from January 1, this year, under Employment Rela­tions Act will be taken by workers who wish to provide care and sup­port to members of the worker’s immediate family.

TCF Council president Michael Towler said the Ministry of La­bour would need to shift focus on those who are not compliant rath­er those who are compliant.

“The questions are around the annual leave and the Family Care Leave entitlement,” Mr Towler said.

“I think it is important that Gov­ernment put out a practice state­ment.

“The leave entitlement has some details in it on how the members would be able to apply this new en­titlement.”

“We are looking for responses from the Ministry of Labour and we would like to see them being proactive in finding those compa­nies that are not paying their staff the correct rates and are not pay­ing the correct entitlements,” he added.

“These are the people who are not members of the council and are giving the industry a bad name.”

United Apparel’s managing di­rector Kaushik Kumar raised the concern that there were no clear directions under this leave and could be subject to abuse.

“There needs to be some set of criteria and rules where evidence will be provided by employees,” Mr Kumar said.

“I don’t think employers do not have an issue on providing Family care leave.”

Minister for Employment, Pro­ductivity, Industrial Relations and Youth and Sports Parveen Bala has assured the council that they would look into the complaints raised by the council.

“The members can be rest as­sured that the Ministry will be looking into the issues. I have been receiving complaints and some of you are aware of that and we need to address it,” Mr Bala said.

Minimum wage rate

Mr Towler added the national minimum wage is next on the agenda for them.

“Last year’s elections were not the right forum which is one of the reasons why we came out dur­ing the elections was to say that’s not the right forum,” he added.

“We want to make sure that our staff are being paid a minimum wage but it needs to be ways that we can actually pay.

“We do not want to see our indus­try being destroyed by unreason­able demands so that is the next issue for us to deal with.”

Mr Towler added the industry could cope with reasonable rises which is expected to happen soon.

“We don’t expect unreasonable rises, during the election cam­paign there was a manifesto out there that would have doubled the national minimum wage and that would have destroyed our indus­try,” he said.

“We are already finding a big challenge as far as cost is con­cerned, so as a nation we need to do something.”

Mr Towler had earlier stated that TCF was fully committed to taking part in thoughtful and responsible workplace reforms.

Feedback: karalaini.tavi@fijisun.com.fj

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