23 Mar 2012

Minimum wage in Fiji shouldn't be one size fits all

11:14 am on 23 March 2012

The head of the Fiji Commerce and Employers' Federation, Mark Matthews, says a national minimum wage in Fiji should NOT be one figure applied across the board.

Various minimum wage regulations already apply to about 90 percent of the workforce who either come under the wage councils or unions.

The Labour Ministry is planning to introduce a minimum wage by the end of this year to also protect the 10 percent who fall through the cracks.

Mark Matthews says it's important that the minimum wage is still adjusted to reflect the state of development of particular sectors.

"The concern for us is that if there was a single blanket figure that was confirmed as a minimum wage then there could have a really quite destructive effect on some of the sectors who are still developing. If the wage framework was set too low it could also be open to exploitation."

Mark Matthews says the idea is to also bring the ten existing wage councils under the umbrella of a single council to ensure better pay parity.