Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations, Jone Usamate met with Sigatoka workers, employers and the general public this afternoon to discuss recent amendments of the Employment Relations Law, the new National Employment Policy, transition under the Worker’s Compensation and related employment issues.
Business owners and managers were reminded about the new Paternity and Family Care Leave, which becomes effective from January 1st, 2019.
“We know that these leaves will have an impact on business so there are incentives. The Government will give tax rebates for the amount paid while that employee is on Paternity and Family Care Leave, at 150 percent,” he reminded them.
He  reiterated that also from January 1, applications for worker’s compensation would be handled by the new Accidents Compensation Commission of Fiji (ACCF), whose  compensation scheme would be funded by FNTC levies.
“That Compensation Scheme will have a No Fault system. It will also look after schoolyard, child injuries. In this approach, there’s a lot of emphasis on family and looking after family at all times.
We still have another 2000 worker’s compensation we are still looking at, with the new ones to be looked at by the ACCF,” Minister Usamate noted.
Attendees made ample use of the consultation to clarify any confusions on the new leave provisions, and ways to address employee issues.
Minister Usamate said the  National Employment Center database is currently being reviewed, with wages also being amended.
“Attaches are currently paid $60 per week and is being currently revised, so those with certificates get $100 per week and holders of diplomas get $120 per week. We are awaiting some legalities for these new rates.”
To encourage more youth employment, incentives are also provided by the Fiji Revenue & Customs Services, which gives employers of first-time employers for 12 months a 200 percent tax rebate. A  200 percent tax rebate also applies to employers who employ students needing practical experience to complete their course.
The Minister for Labour continues his consultations in Nadi, Lautoka Ba, Tavua and Rakiraki this week.


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