There is no amount of money that can truly compensate you for the suffering you endured, for the loss of a loved one or for the disability you will now carry for the rest of your life and for this; you have my deepest personal sympathy.
Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama made these sentimental remarks while officiating as Chief Guest at the cheque handover ceremony for the Workers Compensation recipients at Suva’s Civic Centre.
Prime Minister Bainimarama said; “It is my hope that these payments will help you as you go forward and build new lives, and that the funds will help sustain and allow you to live with dignity and hope”. “Strong people endure and carry on and people are made stronger if their fellow citizen and the Government that expresses the will of the people take their hand and help them in their hour of need.”
The Prime Minister also highlighted about the Fijian Government’s commitment towards compensation for employment accidents administered by the Accident Compensation Commission Fiji.
“My Government has modernised such compensation by replacing the Workmen’s Compensation Act with the Accident Compensation Act 2017 to better serve workers and their dependents.
The “no fault” workers compensation scheme is more victim-friendly, allowing for compensation cases to be decided quickly and without prolonged investigations,” he added.
“We are also committed to making sure that our compensation is given fairly according to reasonable and rational standards. “Over the last five years, my Government has paid out about $8.75 million as compensation to the workers and dependents of Government workers. “
For this financial year, Government has allocated $1.2 million for compensation payments to injured workers and dependents of deceased workers whose deaths are directly related to their employment. “Out of that $1.2 million, we will pay $494,000 to settle 24 cases, 17 injuries and seven deaths and today, we honor the first group of recipients.”
Speaking on behalf of the recipients, Ms Emali Lewenilovo sincerely thanked the Prime Minister and his Government for introducing such initiatives which exemplifies “care for ordinary Fijians”.
“Your presence here speaks volume of your leadership and you indeed care for us. I am grateful to the Fijian Government for allocating such compensation funds and we will see to it that these funds are properly utilised and to improve our livelihoods.”