Jone Usamate.

The Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment is set to reduce the turnaround time in compensation payment for injuries or fatalities caused at the workplace.

The line Minister, Mr Jone Usamate, while handing over a compensation cheque of $130,000 to Yogendra Sami, 22, who was injured while at work, said this reform will be two-fold. Minister Jone Usamate lifts the mood for young Yogendra Sami

“The last major reform under the Labour Ministry is the Workmen’s Compensation where firstly we want to increase the amount of payout that has been far too low for a long time as well as the time for the payment to be made,” he said.

Mr Usamate said this will help the families continue with their livelihood such as meeting their daily needs.

He added that reform will introduce a “no fault system” whereby there will always be a pool of money available so that in case of an injury, the pay-out can be done within a short timeline.

For young Yogendra who is paralysed from the lower half of his body, the $130,000 will go a long way towards his hopes of recovery.

“I want to get better, while I have been told my chances of leading a normal life is not very high, I have not lost hope,” he said.

Yogendra was working for a lighting company in 2012 when the accident occurred whereby while putting up a banner from an elevated position, a freak accident led to a rope hitting the electric wires on the power pole.

“The impact was such that I got thrown off from a height and hit the ground hard. I damaged my spinal cord and that on top of being electrocuted made my case very complicated,” he said.

However, he has not lost hope and besides the weekly physiotherapy he undergoes, the Nadi resident will use the compensation money for further medical treatment in India.

“I want to look after my parents as they are growing old. Instead at the moment they are looking after me, it was my bad luck but I am not going to spend all my life in a wheelchair,” he said.

His mother, Saraswati Sami said they had many difficulties in life but were happy to see their son’s determination to get better.



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