Minister for Labour Mr Jone Usamate
The Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment is cautioning members of the public not to associate with any Employment Agencies/people/groups recruiting Fijians and collecting money with the guarantee of providing employment in the United States of America.
It is believed that these employment agencies or group/individuals are operating from Nausori Town and are moving into other parts of Viti Levu.
“These employment agencies, group or individuals are not authorised by the Ministry not associated with any one of them. I strongly urge members of the public to seek clarifications from the Ministry of Labour first before deciding to apply or make any payments to the people/company claiming to operate under either the Ministry or Minister for Labour’s name. I request people to demand for the Certificate of Authorisation issued by the Ministry,” said the Minister for Labour Mr Jone Usamate said.
The Minister said that “the ultimate aim of the Ministry under the Employment Relations Promulgation (ERP) 2007 is to ensure that our people are not exploited in respect of their terms and conditions of employment under their foreign contracts of service, and to also prevent human trafficking or other unlawful forms of Labour by unscrupulous operators.”
Any person or company that is operating an employment agency must have a Certificate of Authorisation issued by the Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Labour, and this Certificate is attainable after the company meets all the requirements stipulated under the Employment Relations (Employment Agencies) Regulations 2008.
The Ministry currently has two Employment Agencies authorised to enlist, recruit and deploy Fijian workers for overseas employment – theNew Advent Ministry and Thrive International Employment Agency operated by Pastor Apolosi Qalilawa and ACE & ACE Enterprises Ltd operated by Mr Samuela Nawalowalu.
Mr Usamate confirmed that under Section 37 of the ERP 2007, any employment agency operating without authorisation from the Permanent Secretary for Labour is liable on conviction to a fine of $20,000 or to a term of imprisonment for 4 years or both.
Members of public are requested to contact the nearest Ministry of Labour Office or the Ministry’s Acting Assistant Director Labour Standards Services Mr Atish Kumar on 9906369 for clarifications or to lodge a complaint against any person or company collecting money for overseas employment.