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Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed

February 10, 2016 5:47 am

The Employment Relations Amendment Bill has been passed in Parliament, endorsing a number of concessions to strengthen workers’ rights.

The amendment is part of an agreement between the Fiji Trades Union Congress, the Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation and government in the wake of a recent International Labour Organisation mission.

Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum highlighted a number of key features agreed to by the tripartite partners for the benefit of all Fijian workers.

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“Taking into account the following agreements that we have reached that is the reduction of the notice period for strike from 28 days to 14 days, the individual grievances that were discounted by the essential industries decree as well as the employment relations amendment decree 2011 shall be reinstated. The removal of all reference to bargaining units which was in the essential industries decree and allow workers to fully join or form a trade union, including a trade enterprise union.”

Opposition members raised their concerns on several aspects, questioning why the amendments weren’t put before the Employment Relations Advisory Board and why the list of expanded essential services has not being changed.

Sayed-Khaiyum in response told the house that the amendments have been supported by the ILO.

The bill was passed with 29 affirmative votes, 12 against and 9 no votes.

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