THE International Labour Organisation has urged the PNG government to give priority to the review of the Employment Act.
International Labour Organisation (ILO) technical adviser Caroline Scott, who facilitated a two-day review conference, encouraged the Department of Labour and Industrial Relations to be committed to the review. Scott said it was important that the review committee be made up of members who were not just experts but committed to completing it.
She said experiences from the 10-year Industrial Relations Bill must be identified, considered and evaluated to successfully complete the review of the act. “Think carefully of who will be in the committee to do the work; you must be committed to finish this job,” she said. Read more online
She said consultation network must be widened to allow for improved technical support. Papua New Guinea Employers Federation (PNGEF) executive director Florence Willie said setbacks of the Industrial Relations Bill 1962 review must be seriously taken note of to avoid impeding the progress of the Act review. She said the setbacks were due to a lack of commitment, lack of consultants, lack of funding and change of government.
The review conference included discussions on policy priorities by partners, workers and employers to gauge views and opinions as the starting point of reforming the Act. Points and areas identified in the discussions and noted to be changed, removed or improved are discrimination, child labour, termination of employment, maternity leave for women and labour inspection.
These points were identified to be irrelevant or outdated to the workforce standard in the country. A summary will be drawn by the ILO and delivered to the Labour Department and PNGEF. A review committee is yet to be set up. The committee is expected to present a framework of the work from time to time to the ILO for checking and advising before the review is done and given to parliament to be enacted.
By SHIRLYN BELDEN. Source: The National, Papua New Guinea, Monday 21st November 2011