19 Sep 2006

Changes to Fiji's minimum wage structure may be some time off

7:50 pm on 19 September 2006

A reform of the Wages Council in Fiji may be considered by the Minister of Labour as questions are raised over minimum wages.

Currently, the council sets varying minimum wages for ten different industries but there has been a call by the Fiji Trades Union Congress, the FTUC, for one set national minimum wage.

The Labour minister, Krishna Datt, says there is either the option of continuing to set wages for the different sectors but reforming the wage council to become more pro-active or introducing a national minimum wage.

Mr Datt says he has an open mind as to what should occur but he is aware that employers have differing abilities to pay wages.

"I am at this point more inclined to think that the sectoral wage increases is the probably the best for us. But, that all the other sectors that are not currently included in these various sectors, they should be brought in but within the ambit."

Mr Datt says it will be at least mid-next year before a decision is made.