Fiji National Wage Survey

The country's first national minimum wage baseline survey is underway

News | 20 May 2013
A TOTAL of 17,331 workers will be interviewed within a month's time as the Ministry of Labour began with the country's first national minimum wage baseline survey yesterday.

Minister Jone Usamate said the findings of the survey would result in the determination and introduction of a national minimum wage, the hourly rate below which all sectoral minimum wage rates must not be allowed to fall.

He said the exercise was conducted in partnership with academic Dr Mahendra Reddy of FNU.

He said it would cover all sectors of the economy, including organisations covered under the existing 10 sectors under the Wages Regulations Orders and also those involving individual bargaining between employers and workers.

"The survey will assess existing wage levels in Fiji's labour market, including conditions of employment in the context of the requirements under the Employment Relations Promulgation 2007 (ERP) and the 10 current Wages Regulation against the backdrop of the economy," Mr Usamate said.

He said a framework would also be developed to periodically review the national minimum wage based on the agreed social and economic factors provided for in the ILO Minimum Wage Fixing Convention, 1970 and its Minimum Wage Fixing Recommendation 135.

"The first national minimum wage set will be used as the benchmark or reference point from which future possible adjustments will be made."

The ministry confirmed that throughout the country, there were around 6706 enterprises with 171,865 workers.

Out of these enterprises, 4065 are covered under the Wages Regulation Orders and 2641 are enterprises where workers are employed through individual bargaining.

"For the purpose of the survey, 10 per cent sample was randomly selected resulting in the selection of 17,331 workers to be interviewed from within 2617 enterprises inclusive of micro, small, medium and large organisations in the survey."

The survey will be conducted in a targeted timeline of one month by the ministry officers and 88 volunteers recruited from the National Employment Centre (NEC) database, capitalising on the government's employment creation initiative to add value to the lives of those unemployed.

The survey ends at the end of the month.

By Nasik Swami
Fiji Times 07.05.2013