A Nausori businessman raised serious concerns in the Ministry of Employment Roadshow today as he says that the Ministry always favours employees during disputes, the 98 maternity leave days is too high and university graduates are coming into the workforce not knowing what to do.
While speaking to the ministry officials earlier today, businessman, Faizal Khan said that he runs 5 businesses but they are facing a lot of negative issues.
Khan claims that in the cases that he has encountered, the Ministry is still favouring employees who have committed serious offences.
Ministry of Employment Mediator Tomasi Keni told Khan that the Ministry is not favouring employees and everything is always done in good faith. Keni also says that it would be wise to give written contracts to employees if they work for more than a month. He says the grievance procedures and grounds of dismissal should also be clearly stated in the contract.
Keni further says that the grounds of summary dismissals include willful misconduct, gross misconduct and willful disobedience to lawful orders given by employers.
However he says that if someone is dismissed, the employer has to pay all dues. This includes any leave pay owed and any outstanding wages owed.
Keni then said that no case should go to mediation if there is a case of gross misconduct.
Keni also says that university graduates can register with the National Employment Centre and the employers can get them on attachment and pay 50% of their allowance.
Faizal Khan replied that he is not operating a training centre and the Education Ministry should work with the universities to ensure that the graduates are coming out ready to work for the employers.
He also maintained that his cases about sacked employees before the Employment Ministry should be looked at because the workers were dismissed after gross misconduct.
Meanwhile, FNU Vice Chancellor Professor Nigel Healey says that their graduates are highly trained both in theory and practical and are day one job ready.
Healey says the majority of their courses have a compulsory 6 month work attachment component which means that their graduates undergo practical training and assessment in the workforce before they are able to graduate.
He adds that a graduate survey conducted after the 2018 April graduation indicated that up to 90% of FNU graduates are employed within the first three months of graduation and receive good reviews from employers.
Healey further adds that FNU continues to upgrade its programmes and curriculum in response to nation’s changing labour market demand and has a very close working partnership with employers and other relevant stakeholders adding their programmes are designed in consultation with the industry to ensure that they are producing graduates who have been trained to meet the needs of these industries.
We have also sent questions to USP and University of Fiji.ADVERTISEMENT Listen to the latest news on our 5 radio stations Legend FM, Viti FM, Radio Sargam, FM96 and Navtarang.