Bill ‘legally casualising the whole workforce’ – Tikoduadua

Opposition MP Pio Tikoduadua. Picture: FT FILE

Teachers and civil servants could become “casual” employees under the amendments to the Employment Relations Promulgation (2007) Act passed this week in Parliament.

This was highlighted by National Federation Party president Pio Tikoduadua during a debate on the legislation on Thursday.

“I would like to say though, that the Bill is legally ‘casualising’ the whole workforce,” he said.

“For example, we believe that teachers can be told that they will be paid for only the days that they are required to be at school.

“In other words, there is a real risk that workers may be paid only for the days that they work.

“The question that we would like to ask the honourable minister — will it be applied to the civil servants in terms of getting no pay cuts but at the same time, the whole civil service workforce suffers massive reductions under this legislation, so I hope that is not what this is trying to do.”

In his reply, Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum did not respond to Mr Tikoduadua’s concerns about the Bill.

Instead, the A-G said Government was rolling out $220 per fortnight as unemployment benefits through the Fiji National Provident Fund for workers who had lost employment as a result of COVID-19.

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