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Employment Minister Meets With Workers, Warns Bosses

Mr Bala said the ministry continued to work with all stakeholders to put forward innovative means of keeping people in the work force.
05 May 2020 16:32
Employment Minister Meets With Workers, Warns Bosses
Minister for Employment Parveen Bala with a group of Jack’s workers who lodged a formal complaint against their employer. Photo: Mereleki Nai

Employment and Industrial Relations minister Parveen Bala says an investigation will ensue into concerns over the loss jobs on the back of financial difficulties brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Bala made the comment after he met with a group of workers from Jack’s who lodged a formal complaint against their employer.

He said the ministry received similar reports from a host of employees across various industries.

Staff complaints centred on reduced hours of work, shift work and pay rates, he said.

Hourly rate

“I have mentioned to workers that employers can exercise some degree of structural changes in terms of shift work and reduced hours.

“But definitely cannot reduce the hourly rate.

“It is important to keep as many as possible of our workers employed.”

Mr Bala said the ministry continued to work with all stakeholders to put forward innovative means of keeping people in the work force.

Such measures would include revised work schedules, work from home models and reduced working hours, he said.

Paid leave

Mr Bala said staff on leave with pay should be paid accordingly.

“While they were at home, they should be paid by the company since they have worked for so long.”

Jack’s of Fiji chief executive officer Bhavin Khatri confirmed  a meeting transpired with Mr Bala, but declined to divulge its outcome.

The Ministry of Employment has suggested workers with grievances call the toll free number 1535 for queries.

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