Press Release

Fiji reviews National Employment Policy

Promoting Economic Diversification and Environmental Sustainability

Press release | Suva, Fiji | 08 September 2022
Suva, Fiji (ILO News) – The International Labour Organization (ILO) have kicked off a 2-day Strategic Policy Prioritization Workshop, in partnership with the Fijian Government, employers’ and workers’ organizations & national stakeholders at the Pearl Resort, Pacific Harbour from the 8th to 9th September, to deliberate on the findings of a review report of 'Fiji's National Employment Policy 2018 -2022 and the development of 'Fiji's National Employment Policy 2022-2026.

ILO Office for Pacific Island Countries, Director, Matin Karimli addresses participants at the opening session of the Workshop.

During the workshop, senior-level tripartite partners and stakeholder officials involved in policymaking, policy/statistical analysis or advocacy were engaged in dialogue and provided practical guidance for the formulation of employment policy framework structured by the current conditions related to COVID-19 crisis and national priorities toward job-rich recovery. It included discussions related to strategic planning, consultation, coordination, preparation of policy options, implementation, and monitoring.
Participants at the meeting included senior-level tripartite partners and stakeholder officials involved in policymaking, policy/statistical analysis or advocacy.
Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Employment, Productivity, and Industrial Relations, Mr. Osea Cawaru, urged the participants while reviewing the NEP to take into consideration the lessons learnt from the COVID-19 pandemic and anticipate other possible future crises such as climate change that could affect employment. Mr Cawaru added that with a number of factors that impacted employment and our local workforce, the Ministry re-looked and re-aligned its Vision to “Decent Work and Sustainable Employment for All”.
Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Employment, Productivity, and Industrial Relations, Mr. Osea Cawaru addresses participants at the opening session of the Workshop.
ILO Office for Pacific Island Countries, Director, Mr. Matin Karimli, said “In response to the pandemic, most PICs, including Fiji, have requested the ILO to support the review and development of pro-employment policies. ILO ensures that countries can utilize employment policy development as a platform for consultation to address the country's most acute challenges, such as climate change. Today we are discussing ambitious policy solutions from various policy actors, focusing on enhancing the Pacific's blue economy. Our discussion showed how the employment policy development process is an integral part of evidence creation, participation and decision making."

Assistant National Secretary of the Fiji Trades Union Congress, Ms. Latileta Gaga Kurabui said “there is a need to recognize that the development of the National Employment Policy must allow for the achievement of decent work for all workers through the primary recognition and respect of fundamental rights of workers that are enshrined in the ratified ILO core conventions with stronger emphasis on effective monitoring and implementation processes.

Assistant National Secretary of the Fiji Trades Union Congress, Ms. Latileta Gaga Kurabui address participants at the opening session of the Workshop.
Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation, Manager Membership, Research & Communications, Mr. Savenaca Baro said ”Given the impact on employment and employability to various factors, this policy review is vital to ensuring that we are able to create policies that not only address and inform current need areas but also those of the future, it crucial that effective and continued collaboration amongst all stakeholders is maintained to allow the for the realization of the outcomes from these policy discussions”

Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation, Manager Membership, Research & Communications, Mr. Savenaca Baro address participants at the opening session of the Workshop
Decent Work & Employment Specialist, Mr. Kinan Bahnassi said "A key challenge for Fiji in response to the crisis is to generate more and better employment opportunities while ensuring that no one was left behind. For this to happen, employment policy needs to pursue new pathways towards economic diversification with a focus on inclusive recovery and environmental protection. Looking today at job quality, quantity and access as they relate to sectoral labour demand and supply dynamics, the NEP is supposed to push for structural change, taking advantage of digitalization driven by the pandemic, facilitating the movement of workers and enterprises from hard-hit sectors to more productive and resilient ones."



For more information, please contact:

Kinan Bahnassi
Decent Work & Employment Specialist
ILO Office for Pacific Island Countries

Ahmed Ali
National Programme Officer 
ILO Office for Pacific Island Countries