The Corporate Service is tasked with the efficient management, administration and coordination of internal services in relation to finance, personnel and material assets in support of the Ministry's core services.
Labour Policy and Productivity Service
The core function of this Service is to advise the Permanent Secretary on policy and legal matters pertaining to the operations of the Ministry, responsible for promoting and improving productivity in all workplaces, provide Secretariat duties to the Employment Relations Advisory Board (ERAB), facilitate the fulfillment of Fiji's obligations as a member state of the ILO and also the expeditious disposal of APO matters.
Labour Compliance Service
The Labour Compliance Service is responsible for the compliance functions of the Employment Relations Promulgation 2007 (ERP) and its subsidiary Regulations. The Service deals mainly with the minimum terms and conditions of employment in Fiji and comprises the following Units:
- Standards and Compliance Unit - responsible for employer/workplace inspections including verification of wage records, resolution of labour complaints/employment grievances, control (attestation) of foreign contracts of service, prosecution of offences under the ERP and also appearing as Advocates for workers on their individual grievances at the Employment Relations Tribunal. The Unit also monitors the authorization of employment agencies and businesses in Fiji for local or overseas employment.
- Employment Relations Unit - responsible for the analysis of reports of employment disputes and their referral to the Mediation and Employment Relations Tribunal Services. The Unit is also responsible for the monitoring and management of strikes and lockouts.
- Wages Councils Unit - secretariat (Sole Chairman and Secretary) of all the sectoral Wages Councils that sets the minimum wage and other terms and conditions of employment in Fiji's employment sectors.
- Trade Unions and Industrial Associations Unit - the Registrar of Trade Unions and Industrial Associations is responsible for the administration and control of trade unions and industrial associations in dealing with the registration, suspension and cancellation and also advisory to trade unions and industrial associations. The Unit is also responsible for the coordination of supervision of strike secret ballots by trade unions and the vetting and registration of all Collective Agreements between employers and registered trade unions.
National Occupational Health and Safety Service
The National Occupational Health and Safety Service (NOHSS) is responsible for the enforcement of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1996 and its subsidiary legislations and the Workmen's Compensation Act (Cap. 98). The activities of the NOHSS are based on the concept of the 'duty of care' principles and facilitates the promotion of a proactive OHS risk management culture which emphasizes the creed that 'those who create the risks in the workplace and those who work with them have the primary responsibility to solve them', rather than relying on OHS Inspectors to prescribe the remedies as encouraged in the former statutory and administrative arrangements under the Factories Act.
The Service aims to promote and maintain a working environment, which is healthy and safe to both workers and employers and directly contributes to improved productivity. This is achieved by improved OHS awareness through the training of OHS committees, joint OHS partnership projects, development of OHS regulations and codes of practice, OHS audits, investigations and enforcement initiatives. The Service also processes Workers Compensation claims for work-related injuries and deaths.
The Service comprised the following five (5) specialized units:
- Training, Accreditation, Chemical and Hygiene (TACH)
- Capital Projects and Information Technology (CPIT)
- Risk Engineering (RE)
- Field Operations (FO)
- Workers Compensation (WC)
Labour Market Information and Analysis
The objective of the Labour Market Information and Analysis sub-programme is to strengthen the capacity of Government to collect, analyze and manage labor market information sources in both the formal and informal employment sectors, assist the Ministry through quality market research, product development and policy design. It is also the key source of labour market information for the Integrated Human Resource Development Program (IHRDP) employment model and plays a critical role in the development of socio-economic surveys of targeted areas and regions of the country. The statistical information obtained from these surveys provides the policy basis for the development of employment plans for specific areas of Fiji's economy and the monitoring mechanisms to measure the effectiveness of the IHRDP initiatives.
The Mediation Service is newly established under Section 193, Part 20 (Institutions) of the Employment Relations Promulgation 2007. It is the primary conflict-resolution institution at the national level which must first be exhausted by the disputing or aggrieved parties before the secondary institutions of the Employment Relations Tribunal or Employment Relations Court are activated when needed. In this manner, the Mediation Service is basically the continuation of the good faith dialogue between the parties at the enterprise level. The only difference is that at the Mediation Service, a professionally trained and accredited Mediator provides the facilitative negotiator role. This is consistent with the duty and principles of good faith under the Employment Relations Promulgation 2007 and the Code of Good Faith for Collective Bargaining 2008. The engagement of the Mediation Service is voluntary and provides the disputing parties with the opportunity to resolve the disputes themselves. Mediation is also the first port of call, under the new labour legislation, for all employment related problems and all reasonable attempts are made by the Mediators to resolve the disputes and grievances under the obligation of good faith. Any decision agreed to by the parties and endorsed by the Mediator is final and binding.
Employment Relations Tribunal
The Employment Relations Tribunal is newly established under Section 202, Part 20 (Institutions) of the Employment Relations Promulgation 2007 and its jurisdiction is much wider than that of the former Arbitration Tribunal which it had repealed. If employment disputes or employment grievances are not resolved at the Mediation Service, the Employment Relations Tribunal assists employers and their representatives and workers and their representative trade unions by adjudicating and determining any grievance or dispute between parties to employment contracts. The Tribunal also assists the disputing parties to amicably settle disputes and have it in writing as a binding award or decision. In adjudication proceedings, there is also a requirement on the Tribunal to provide mediation assistance to the disputing parties when the need arises.
Employment Relations Court
The Employment Relations Court is newly established under Section 219, Part 20 (Institutions) of the Employment Relations Promulgation 2007, as a Division of the High Court. Similar to the High Court, the Employment Relations Court has a very wide jurisdiction to hear and determine aspects of law relating to employment matters including appeals, offences, all actions for the recovery of penalties, compliance orders and other functions or powers conferred on it by the Promulgation or any other written law. A party to proceedings before the Employment Relations Tribunal who is aggrieved by a decision of the Tribunal in the proceedings may appeal as of right or by leave to the Employment Relations Court. An appeal from the Employment Relations Court shall lie to the Court of Appeal.