Ministry of Labour Acting Deputy Secretary for Occupational Health and Safety Service Mr Isimeli Tuivaga hands over the workmen’s compensation cheque to the wife of the deceased.
The Ministry of Labour today released a compensation payout of $24,000.00 to dependents of a deceased workman Mr Timoci Ratoki, who went missing at sea on 30th?November, 2007.
The 36 year old deceased, who was employed by the Ministry of Fisheries and Forests as a Labourer (boatman), was travelling from Makogai Island to Natovi to deliver giant clams for the Ministry?s re-seeding program at Dawasamu, when he went missing.
Mr Ratoki is survived by his wife Mrs Amelia Ratoki and two children.
The payment has been distributed amongst the three dependents of which Mrs Amelia Ratoki today received $12,000.00 while the other 2 dependents will have their share of compensation held under the Ministry?s Trust Fund Account.
For the 44 year old widow, the journey without her husband by her side was not an easy one, but all that will change now.
?I had to endure a lot of struggle to provide for my children and all our family needs, however, I am glad I have received this payment.
With this money I will be able to expand my small poultry farming into a small business now.? My children?s future is also secured now.
?Vinaka Vakalevu (thank you) to the Ministry,? Mrs Amelia said.
Mr Usamate said the Ministry is strengthening its Workers Compensation law to speed up the processing of cases.
He said the draft Workers Compensation law is being refined in the Ministry before it is tabled to the Tripartite for consultations.
?The new law will have much better compensation payout for deaths and injuries and will have strong good governance oversight features for better social justice? the Minister said.
He added that the new law will have quality, timely and professional assessment of cases.
?As part of the completion of the Workers Compensation Reform, the Ministry has trained a total of 121 doctors from various hospitals and general practice throughout Fiji on Evaluation of Permanent Impairment Assessment to synchronize the medical reports issued by the doctors.
The objective of these trainings were to reduce disparity in the medical reports issued by doctors, which, as a result will ensure all cases are resolved effectively and efficiently,? Mr Usamate said.
This year the Ministry has paid out a total of $1,373,493.60 in compensation for 154 Government cases and $312,286.52 for 115 cases from workplaces in the Private Sector.