24 Jul 2020

ILO wants review of Fiji's employment policy

6:17 am on 24 July 2020

The International Labour Organisation, or ILO, is calling for a review of Fiji's national employment policy.

The ILO's Matin Karimli

The ILO's Matin Karimli Photo: twitter / @MatinKarimli

ILO director for the Pacific, Matin Karimli, said this was to help the government create sustainable jobs amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mr Karimli said according to an ILO assessment, five industries had been severely affected including the wholesale, retail and tourism sectors.

He said 66 percent of the 84,000 Fijian workers surveyed were on reduced hours or working days.

"What we've observed and according to our findings, we think that there should be a comprehensive institutional work that would support businesses and workers during this kind of crisis."

Karimli said the ILO could offer technical expertise and guidance notes to Fiji, based on its experience in other countries.

He said the plight of thousands of workers either laid off or on reduced hours had affected business operations.

He urged employers to work with the Employment Ministry and relevant stakeholders on ways to help workers.

Karimli said the ILO survey also showed a need for workers to acquire skills such as management, administration, safety, hygiene and diversification to help build the economy during the pandemic.

Workers on a construction site in Fiji's capital, Suva.

Workers on a construction site in Fiji's capital, Suva. Photo: RNZ / Jamie Tahana