Employment

$2million owed to security workers

The Ministry of Employment, Productivity, and Industrial Relations is currently investigating more than one hundred security companies for wages of more than $2million owed to its workers. The Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations, Hon. Semi Koroilavesau in response to questions by Newswire said the Labour Standards and Compliance Unit is investigating security companies on […]

Peni Shute

May 5, 2016 11:38 am

The Ministry of Employment, Productivity, and Industrial Relations is currently investigating more than one hundred security companies for wages of more than $2million owed to its workers.

The Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations, Hon. Semi Koroilavesau. (Peni Shute/Newswire)
The Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations, Hon. Semi Koroilavesau. (Peni Shute/Newswire)

The Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations, Hon. Semi Koroilavesau in response to questions by Newswire said the Labour Standards and Compliance Unit is investigating security companies on issues pertaining to non-payment of dues in terms of wages, holiday and overtime pay.

KOROILAVESAU: “The calculation for the arrears of wages amounting to more than $2m has accumulated from the 1st of June 2010 to 2013 for a particular security company.”

Minister Koroilavesau said the matter is currently under investigation and therefore, they cannot disclose any information on the names of the security companies and dues owed.

KOROILAVESAU: “The case regarding the $2 million claim is in its final stages and the matter will be filed in Court on behalf of the workers of the security company.”

The minister said if the company fails to pay the dues after the Court has given its judgement, normal legal process will follow to ensure that the workers dues are paid on time.

KOROILAVESAU: “Under Section 256 of the Employment Relations Promulgation 2007 on non-compliance, the employer who commits an offence is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $10,000 or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 12 months or both.”

Minister Koroilavesau strongly urges security companies in Fiji to strictly adhere to the Wages (Security Services) Regulation 2015 in remunerating the right hourly wage rate of pay and overtime payment on the number of hours worked by workers.

The employment ministry is working to recover overtime pay owed to security workers by security companies in Fiji.

security-officer-fiji

Minister for Employment, Productivity, and Industrial Relations, Hon. Semi Koroilavesau today told Parliament over $2 million is owed to security workers.

KOROILAVESAU: “Over $2million is owed to security workers.  Our Ministry is working overtime to get the amount that is owed from security companies.”

Minister Koroilavesau was responding to a question from Government MP Hon. Balmindar Singh.

SINGH: “Can the Minister advise this House on the progress the Ministry has made on investigating complaints against security companies in Fiji?”

Opposition MP Hon. Viliame Gavoka called for a minimum wage for security workers.

GAVOKA: “The security workers are usually the lowest paid employees in Fiji. In government, can we consider to bring the minimum wage to a higher level and pay decent wages to its workers.”

Minister Koroilavesau said that there was currently no minimum wage legislation for security workers.

More updates from today’s Parliament session is available from our Live Blog.

Earlier this year, media reported security company Matrix Fiji being under investigation by the Ministry of Employment concerning about 500 of its former and current workers.  Some security firms in Labasa were also under the spotlight.

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