Under the amendment to the Employment Relations Act in 2016 a worker that was employed in an essential national industry and whose employment was terminated during the operation of the Essential National Industries Decree was able to apply to the Arbitration Court for compensation.

This however excluded workers whose employment was terminated on the basis of established, proven or admitted corruption, abuse of office, fraud or theft or where the facts or situation related to the termination resulted in a conviction.

The period for compensation application was until 15 March 2016 however in the aftermath of Tropical Cyclone Winston and in all fairness to workers who at that time were more concerned with rebuilding their lives and livelihoods, a further extension of three weeks until 5 April 2016 was allowed for applications to be made.

“This extension period was done through media advisories without amending the law however applications for compensation and extensions are now covered under the Employment Relations (Budget) Amendment Act 2018 with the date of effect from 16 February 2016,” Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations Hon. Jone Usamate said.

“This ensures that compensation applications and applications made during the extension period are dealt with appropriately and legally by the Arbitration Court,” Minister Usamate said.