The Ministry of Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations has refuted claims by two political party leaders that progress on the National Minimum Wage review is insufficient, emphasizing the ongoing efforts made since the Coalition Government took office.
Employment Minister Agni Deo Singh has highlighted the comprehensive steps taken towards reviewing minimum wage rates and re-establishing sectoral wage regulations.
He addressed concerns raised by Unity Fiji Party leader, Savenaca Narube and Fiji Labour Party Leader Mahendra Chaudhry,
Singh says the government through the Ministry of Employment commenced work on the review of the minimum wage rates and there are systems and processes involved, and structures in place to facilitate this important work.
He says they have constituted the Employment Relations Advisory Board in its proper form at the beginning of the year and facilitated the labour law review to restore the provision of the ERA 2007 to reinstate workers’ rights.
Singh says this has been completed and is currently being vetted by the Office of the Solicitor General.
The Employment Minister says they are now in the process of reinstating the 10 Wages Councils which were removed by the Fiji First Government and that these councils are subcommittees of the ERAB and will determine the sectoral minimum wages.
He says the work on the minimum wage review is now in progress and the ERAB will determine this with the assistance of a professional consultant in close consultation with the Ministry of Finance.
Singh adds as part of governance, wider consultations will be carried out with stakeholders nationwide on the review.
He says the Ministry has been reporting on the progress in all the above work carried out through Parliamentary proceedings and the media.
Singh adds that the two-party leaders have either not been following parliamentary proceedings as well as the media statements by the Ministry or they are deliberately pretending to be ignorant.
Minister Singh further reiterates that the government will continue to work towards meeting the interest of the people and collectively what is best for the nation as a whole.