70 staff terminated from Laucala Island
May 31, 2020 12:45 pm
70 staff of Laucala Island have been terminated last month due to the impacts of COVID-19 on Fiji’s tourism industry.
Fijian Director of Laucala Resort Limited Florence Fenton says majority of the staff they have sent home are from the guest services.
A few former staff contacted FBC News and raised claims that when they were first sent home on the 22nd of March, they were promised that they would be called back to resume work.
The staff claim that when they were terminated, they were not even allowed to return to the resort.
Their belongings, the staff claimed were later sent to them individually which was organized by the resort.
They have also claimed that the pay they received for April and May were not enough but it was deemed as a redundancy package by the resort.
Responding to questions, Florence Fenton says they have followed all proper legal processes by involving the Ministry of Employment and consulting staff before redundancies were finalised.
Fenton says it’s not feasible or fair to keep staff on leave without pay indefinitely.
She says it is fairer that staff be given their entitlements and be freed to seek alternative employment.
According to Fenton they did not prevent employees from collecting their belongings as staff could not return to the island because of the Government’s inter-island travel restriction.
She says they continue with their renovations, and to maintain the resort in readiness for the eventual re-opening, they continue to employ 235 Fijians and 9 expats.
It’s also understood that staff terminated will need to reapply if and when the resort reopens.
The resort which is on a private island is located near Taveuni and is owned by Red Bull co-owner Dietrich Mateschitz.