28 May 2012

Fiji's Labour Ministry tightens employment regulations

10:19 am on 28 May 2012

Fiji's Labour Ministry says a third party is needed to manage the surety bonds of expatriates who are hired by foreign employers.

The move is part of the Ministry's plan to upgrade the country's labour laws and follows the case of Mikaele Delana, who was repatriated by the interim government after his employer in Dubai failed to meet the costs using his surety bond.

The Minister for Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment, Jone Usamate says the bond is currently handled by employment agencies but should be managed by a bank.

"We need to strengthen the system that we have to protect our people who work through the employment agencies, so that if something goes wrong that they are brought back to Fiji. While we encourage employment, whether it's employment overseas or locally, we also need to make sure that the people of Fiji who are registered through employment agencies are adequately protected."

Jone Usamate says the government will have to take Mikaele Delana's case to court to recover money lost from his surety bond.