Parliament passes ERP Amendment Bill despite huge opposition

The FTUC is appalled that Parliament has passed the Bill No 10 : An Act to Amend the Employment Relations Promulgation,  without considering its implications.

Adapted from newslink- Fiji Sun July 9th 2015.

The Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said the new Employment Relations Promulgation (Amendment) Bill allowed the right to collective bargaining and the right to free association.

He said this complied with the core values of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

The ERP Bill was endorsed by Parliament yesterday after a report on the Bill was submitted by the chairman of the Standing Committee on Justice, Law and Human Rights, Ashneel Sudhakar.

Mr Sudhakar said a lot of work had been put into the report that provided the basis for the amendments.

“Therefore, it becomes important for any government to provide employment laws which not only protects its workers and allows certain freedoms, but are also consistent with international conventions,” he said.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum revealed that some of the unique provisons of the new law included arbitration courts that helped prevent discrimination against workers suffering from HIV/AIDS.

National Federation Party leader Biman Prasad suggested that the Government was inviting a Commission of Inquiry by the ILO, because he alleged that there were still loopholes in the new Bill.

However, Minister for Health Jone Usamate praised the bill for its holistic approach to dealing with labour issues .