Children

Warning for employing children during festive season

The Minister for Employment Hon. Jone Usamate is advising all parents and guardians to be mindful of the regulations surrounding the employment of children during the festive season. Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations Hon. Jone Usamate said that the Ministry’s Labour Compliance Officers are currently on the ground conducting awareness and investigating cases […]

Newsroom

December 25, 2016 9:19 am

The Minister for Employment Hon. Jone Usamate is advising all parents and guardians to be mindful of the regulations surrounding the employment of children during the festive season.

Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations Hon. Jone Usamate said that the Ministry’s Labour Compliance Officers are currently on the ground conducting awareness and investigating cases where child labour is involved.

“The festive season is a time when people love to spend money on shopping, travelling and holidays and children should not be the reason for earning extra income for their families’ pockets to support these activities,” said Minister Usamate.

The Minister stated that his Ministry has conducted awareness for a total of 50 sugar cane farmers, 40 police officers and 20 labour officers in the Western and Northern division on child work and its withdrawal process as part of the interagency cooperation which is in line with the interagency guideline signed by the partners on 17th December 2015.

“The ministry has also conducted community-based awareness around Fiji including school teachers and parents in ensuring that children are given the proper care and education and no underage child is seen working,” said Minister Usamate.

In employing a child, the Minister is urging all employers to ensure that they comply with the minimum terms and conditions stipulated under Part 10 of the Employment Relations Promulgation 2007.

“The state provides that a child must be 15 years and above and can only be employed for 8 hours with 30 minutes paid break for every hour of work,” said Minister Usamate.

“They must engage in light work and not any work that is hazardous and harmful to their health, mental, spiritual or social development.

“The child must return to his/her parents/guardians at the end of each day’s employment and the child should be paid the minimum rates as stipulated in the 2015 Wages Regulations and the National Minimum Wage.”

Minister Usamate added that any person found employing a child outside the terms and conditions specified under the Employment Relations Promulgation 2007 shall be guilty of an offence and the conviction for an individual is a fine of $10,000 or 2 years imprisonment or both and for a corporation or a company a fine not exceeding $50,000.

The Ministry has so far conducted a total of 3,475 labour inspections on compliance and child labour issues from January to November 2016.

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