Update on Informal Sector workers appended
Official Release to the media
NATIONAL MINIMUM WAGE OF $2.32 TO COME INTO EFFECT ON 1ST JULY
The increased National Minimum Wage of $2.32 will come into effect on 1st July, 2015.
The increase which was announced by Government in February this year has been gazetted and employers are reminded to comply with the implementation of the new wage.
The Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations Hon Jioji K Konrote reiterated that the increase will see more than 100,000 marginalised workers have their weekly wages increased from the $90.00 - $96.00 range, to the $104.40 - $111.36 range for a 45 to 48 hour week working period, respectively.
The NMW covers workers in the informal sector, as well as those workers in the formal sector that are not covered under the current 10 Wages Regulations.
Consistent with Government’s obligation under the Constitution to ensure that all workers are afforded the right to a just minimum wage, this is the second increase under the revised NMW in just over a year.
Minister Konrote said that the employers had almost a five-month adjustment period to enable compliance with this new wage policy.
He adds that the enforcement of the first minimum wage has been successful with minimal non-compliance by the employers. A total of 98 per cent of the 581 employers that were inspected in 2014 complied with the law, while 90 per cent compliance has been recorded for the first two quarters of 2015.
The Enforcement Unit of the Ministry will continue to ensure compliance of the new wage through regular employer inspections.
In addition, to protect workers from being exploited, the fixed penalty notice under the Employment Relations (National Minimum Wage) Regulations has been increased from $100 to $500 dollars. This means that employers who fail to comply with any provisions of the NWW will be issued on spot fine of $500 dollars by Ministry’s Enforcement Officers.
The Minister reiterates that the National Minimum Wage does not repeal but coexists with the current sectoral minimum wage rates for workers in the ten (10) sectors covered under the new 2015 Wages Regulations.
MEDIA RELEASE: THE NATIONAL MINIMUM WAGE DOES NOT REPEAL BUT COEXISTS WITH THE CURRENT TEN SECTORAL MINIMUM WAGE RATES
The Ministry of Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations reiterates that the National Minimum Wage does not repeal but coexists with the current sectoral minimum wage rates for workers in the ten (10) sectors covered under the 2015 Wages Regulations.
The National Minimum Wage covers workers in the informal sector, as well as those workers in the formal sector that are not covered under the current ten (10) Wages Regulations.
The Ministry also confirms that Garment factory workers are covered under the Wages (Garment Industry) Regulations 2015. They are part of the 10 Sectors under the Wages Regulations 2015.
Some examples of informal occupations covered under the NMW are Domestic Workers/Maids/House Girls/Caregivers, Carwash Boys, Night Guards, Canteen Maids, Gardener, Caretakers, Back Garage Workers, Mechanics, Cane Cutters, Sardars, and Trailer Drivers etc.
The 10 Wages Regulations include, Printing Trades, Wholesale & Retail Trades, Hotel & Catering Trades, Garment Industry, Sawmilling & Logging Industry, Road Transport, Building & Civil & Electrical Engineering Trades, Manufacturing Industry, Mining & Quarrying Industry and Security Services.
The general public can obtain copies of these regulations from any Ministry of Employment Offices nationwide or can log on to our website www.labour.gov.fj.