Employers reminded on public holiday pay

Minister for Employment Jone Usamate speaks to the members of the media in Nadi yesterday. Picture: REINAL CHAND

Minister for Employment Jone Usamate speaks to the media in Nadi. Picture: REINAL CHAND

WITH a number of public holidays in the coming weeks, Fiji’s Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations Jone Usamate has reminded employers who operate during public holidays to remunerate their workers accordingly.

Mr Usamate, in a government statement, reminded employers who were in operation during Diwali, Wednesday 7 November and who will be in operation by next week special public holiday, Wednesday 14 November (2018 General Election) and on Monday 19 November (Prophet Mohammed’s birthday) to remunerate their workers in accordance with the provisions of the public holiday remuneration under the Employment Relations Act 2007.

“Employers, who are in operation during these gazetted public holidays, are reminded to pay the workers their public holiday pay in accordance with section 67 of the Employment Relations Act 2007,” he said.

A worker who works on public holiday will get a single pay for the hours which he or she has worked during the public holiday together with an additional single pay for the public holiday.

This simply states that if a worker works on public holiday they will get double pay while workers who don’t work on public holiday will get a single pay.

Employers and workers who have agreed on their individual contract or through collective agreement on payment of triple pay for public holiday which is above the minimum terms and conditions stipulated within the ERA 2007 must abide by their agreement.

“If a worker does not work during the public holiday and has worked the normal working day before and normal working day after, then the worker is entitled to public holiday pay,” he added.

Mr Usamate also reiterated that if they are unable to attend work before and after the public holiday their absence should be verified by a medical certificate or any other cause acceptable to the employer.

Workers and employers must clearly understand this and seek clarifications from the Ministry’s Labour Compliance section if they are unsure of any issues related to their terms and conditions of employment. They must also refer to their relevant Wages Regulation enforced for their industry for clarification.