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Usamate clarifies workers regulation

September 2, 2018 4:57 am

Employment Minister, Jone Usamate has clarified it’s an offence when a worker owes money to his or her employer.

Speaking during a public consultation in the North, Usamate said a worker who owes money to the employer in respect of wages or benefits in kind received in advance and leaves with the intent of not returning and where it appears that the worker intended to defraud the employer commits an offence.

Usamate says as a result the worker is liable on conviction to a maximum fine of $5,000, or imprisonment not exceeding two years or both.

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The Minister was responding to queries from the Labasa Chamber of Commerce president Satish Kumar.

Kumar asked what actions an employer can take if an employee decides not to return to work after exhausting her maternity leave entitlement.

Usamate says it is important to have contracts in place – to protect both the employer and the employee.

He says contracts regulate the behaviour of the employee in the workplace.

Usamate emphasized the Ministry protects and looks after the interests of both workers and employers.

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