NEWS

Security Firms Call For 12 Cents Wage Rise

FISEA vice president Josef Penjueli suggested this while making a submission at consultations on the review of the National Minimum Wages and Wages Regulation in Suva yesterday.
26 May 2019 10:00
Security Firms Call For 12 Cents Wage Rise
Fiji Islands Security Employers Association vice presidentJosef Penjueli during the public consultation in Suva on May 25, 2019. Photo: Ronald Kumar

The Fiji Islands Security Employers Association (FISEA) has suggested a 12-cents increase in the National Minimum Wage rate. It has suggested that the hourly wage rate be increased from $2.68 an hour to $2.80.

FISEA vice president Josef Penjueli suggested this while making a submission at consultations on the review of the National Minimum Wages and Wages Regulation in Suva yesterday.

Mr Penjueli also submitted to review consultant, Professor Partha Gangopadhyay that apart from the 12 cents increase in the hourly wage rate, a 25 per cent increase in permissible working hours from a 48-hour week to a 60-hour week should be considered.

He said for an eight-hour shift and a 48-hour week, there would be a gross pay of $128.64 at the current rate of $2.68, while it would be $160.80 for a 12-hour shift and 60-hour week.

For an eight-hour shift and 48-hour week, he said, the gross pay would be $134.40 at the proposed rate of $2.80 and it would be $168 for a 12-hour shift and 60-hour week.

“From this analysis, the gross weekly wages of a security guard will increase by 30 per cent from the current scenario of $2.68 at 48 hours to $2.80 at 60 hours,” he said.

“This means a four per cent increase in the hourly rate with a 25 per cent increase in permissible hours equates to a 30 per cent increase in take-home pay for the average security guard in Fiji. With eight hours, the four per cent increase will not impact the take home pay and therefore its impact will be deemed negligible.

“To maximise the economic and socio-economic benefits to society we need to encourage the increase of hours relative to increase of wages.”

Mr Penjueli said the current working hours under the Wages Regulation should be reviewed.

He said an eight-hour shift was something that was challenging for the employee, the employer and the client, adding that the current contracting hours with clients was 12 hours.

“Therefore, the security industry proposes that the permissible working hours allowed under the Wages Regulation be reviewed to 12 hours as per the peculiar scenarios of the industry. The 12-hour shifts for maximum five days per week will equate to 60-hour working week per person. An eight-hour shift for six days will equate to 48-hour working week.”

Mr Penjueli said as responsible corporate citizens, the association members would like to see the strengthening of the security industry and betterment of the welfare of all those employed in the industry.

He said the welfare upgrade should, therefore, be balanced with the challenges faced by the industry to ensure the sustainability of the industry and its valuable contribution to the economy.

“Most businesses and organisations in Fiji do not see the engagement of security providers as investment, but as an expenditure item.

“This mind-set is a major challenge which directly impacts the industry because most clients do not want to spend more than $3.50 per hour for security services.

“The security company employers would like to see that security employees are well remunerated and that they become employers of choice for many.

“The lack of control of security contractual rates has had a negative impact in the industry over the many years,” said Mr Penjueli.

Edited by Epineri Vula

Feedback: avinesh.gopal@fijisun.com.fj

Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
error: