Fiji

Labor Compliance Guide

Labor Requirements

The Labour law in Fiji is regulated mainly by the Employment Relations Act of 2007 (last amended as of 2020). The Act governs the terms and conditions of employment such as working hours, holidays, rest periods, wages, overtime, leave and termination of employment, etc. The other regulations that govern labor relationships are the Employment (Administrative) Relations Regulations of 2008 and the Employment Relations (National Minimum Wage) Regulations of 2015.

Hours & Pay Regulations

Normal Working Hours

The regular working hours shall not exceed 48 hours (exclusive of overtime) in a week and the daily working hours shall not exceed 8 hours per day for a 5-day workweek and 9 hours for a 6-day workweek. 

 

In case, the weekly working hours are fixed by employment contract at 45 hours (exclusive of overtime), in such a scenario also the daily working hours shall be fixed between the employer and employee, such that those hours are worked on not more than 5 days of the week.

 

Employees working in managerial or executive positions or certain employees employed by reason of special qualifications, experience, etc are not subject to the above-mentioned working hours limitation. Employment Relations Act of 2007 (amended as of 2020), § 72 and Employment Relations (Administrative) Regulations of 2008 Reg. 50.

 

Recording Requirements

An employer shall maintain a record comprising of names, the dates of commencement and termination of employment, the hours between which an employee is employed each day and the days of employment in each week, leave entitlements, dates on which annual and public holidays were taken and the amount paid to an employee in respect of the paid holidays. 

 

An employer shall maintain such wages and time records for a period of at least 6 years. Employment Relations Act of 2007 (amended as of 2020), § 45 and Employment Relations (Administrative) Regulations of 2008 Reg. 17. 

Overtime

Any work performed beyond 8 hours per day for a 6 day work week or 9 hours per day for the 5-day workweek or beyond 48 hours and 45 hours respectively per week is considered overtime. Employment Relations Act of 2007 (amended as of 2020), § 72.

 

Pay – The pay structure for overtime work varies from industry to industry and it is determined by the wage council under the Employment Relations Promulgation 2007. There is no general overtime pay structure that is subjected to all industries. Below are the overtime pay structures listed. 

 

Overtime Pay Structure for various industries – 

    • Mining and Quarrying Industry – 1.5 times for the first 4 hours worked overtime. 2 times for overtime work more than 4 hours.
    • Wholesale and Retail Trade – 1.5 times the normal hourly rate of pay for the first 2 hours and thereafter at 2 times the normal hourly rate of pay.
    • Manufacturing Industry – 1.5 times for the first 4 hours worked in overtime. 2 times for overtime work more than 4 hours.
    • Hotel and Catering Trades – 1.5 times for the first 4 hours worked overtime. 2 times for overtime work more than 4 hours.
    • Building & Civil & Electrical Engineering Trades – 1.5 times for work on weekdays including Saturday. For work, post-midnight employees shall be paid 2 times the hourly rate of pay.
    • Garment Industry – on any working day or a Saturday employees shall be paid 1.5 times the normal hourly rate of pay for the first 4 hours and thereafter 2 times the normal hourly rate of pay.
    • Sawmilling and Logging Industry – 1.5 times for the first 3 hours worked overtime. 2 times for overtime work more than 3 hours.
    • Security Services – 1.5 times for the first 4 hours worked overtime. 2 times for overtime work more than 4 hours.
    • Road Transport Wages – 1.5 times for the first 4 hours worked overtime. 2 times for overtime work more than 4 hours.
    • Printing Trades – 1.5 times for the first 4 hours worked overtime. 2 times for overtime work more than 4 hours.

Work On Rest Days

There is no general provision for weekly rest in the labor legislation. The provisions are separately defined by wage orders of various industries. Most commonly, an employee who works for 5 days in a week is entitled to 2 days of rest, and employees with 6 day work week are entitled to 1 day of rest each week.

 

Also, when a rest day falls on a public holiday, employees receive an alternate day off. This is followed across various industries.

 

Overtime on a weekly rest day – Overtime rate varies across various industries as per the specific wage orders of respective industries. Refer to this link for the wage order for various industries.

Public Holidays

Employees are entitled to the following 11 public holidays:

      • New Year’s Day – January 1
      • Good Friday
      • Easter Saturday
      • Easter Monday
      • Prophet’s Mohammed’s Birthday – October 18
      • National Sports Day
      • Constitution day
      • Fiji Day – October 10
      • Diwali
      • Christmas Day – December 25 and
      • Boxing Day – December 26

The above list of holidays can, however, be modified by the Minister following the prime minister’s approval.

 

Days to be celebrated as Public Holidays:

        • If Christmas Day, Diwali or Prophet Mohammed’s Birthday falls on a Saturday or Sunday, in such case the following Monday shall be considered as a public holiday.
        • If Boxing Day falls on a Saturday, the following day must be observed as a public holiday.
        • If Boxing Day falls on a Sunday or Monday, the following Tuesday must be observed as a public holiday.
        • If Boxing Day falls on a Monday which is already a public holiday, the following Tuesday must be observed as a public holiday.
        • If New Year’s Day falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the following Monday shall be observed as a public holiday.
        • If the date set for a public holiday falls on another day other than Monday, in such case the government authority may approve that such public holiday is celebrated on another day.

NOTE – The government authority may declare a day or part of a day as a special holiday in all workplaces.

 

Pay – An employee who has worked the last working day immediately preceding the public holiday and is present for work on the first working day after the public holiday shall pay his/her regular wages for a public holiday. The exception is allowed only in cases where the employee has been absent from work due to sickness or any other reason acceptable by the employer.

 

An employee who works on a public holiday (exclusive of overtime) shall be paid double the rate of regular wages.

 

Overtime on a public holiday – If an employee works overtime hours on a public holiday he/she shall be entitled to additional remuneration for such work based on the wage order of the industries the employee is employed in. The overtime pay in this regard varies from industry to industry. For more details on the overtime pay on a public holiday please refer to the link. Employment Relations Act of 2007 (amended as of 2020), § 64 – 67 and Employment Relations (Administrative) Regulations of 2008 Reg. 42.

Annual Leave

An employee is entitled to annual vacation for a period of 10 working days after each year of employment with an employer. However, an employee shall not be entitled to annual vacation who has been absent from work for a period of 20 working days during that year, except where the absence was due to sickness or any period of absence from work was allowed (acceptable) by the employer.

 

An employer shall allow employees to take annual leave in an unbroken period, however, if the employee so requests, the period of annual vacation can be taken in 2 or more periods, one of which must be a continuous period of one week. An employee is entitled to all annual holidays but he/she can be paid in lieu of holidays.

 

An employer and employee may enter into an agreement that the paid annual holiday can be deferred and accumulated over a period not exceeding a duration of 4 years, provided that one week of the holiday must be taken after completion of each year of service.

 

Pay – An employee is entitled to his/her regular pay which would have been received by them if they were not absent from work. Employees shall be paid for the annual holiday in advance of or on the payday immediately preceding the holiday.

 

Termination of employment

An employee whose employment is terminated – 

      • After a period exceeding one month and less than one year after the commencement of employment; or
      • After a period of employment following the completion of a year in respect of which paid annual holiday has been taken.

The employer must on or before the date of termination of employment pay to the employee a sum equal to not less than 5/6th of a day’s wages for each completed month of the period of employment. Employment Relations Act of 2007 (amended as of 2020), § 58 – 63.

Minimum Wage

Effective September 30, 2017, the minimum wage in Fiji is $2.68 per hour. Employment Relations (National Minimum Wage) Regulations 2015, Reg. 4,

Special Leave

Sick Leave

An employee who has been in continuous employment with the same employer for a period of more than 3 months is entitled to 10 working days of paid leave for each year of service.

 

Eligibility – To be entitled to sick leave an employee must inform his/her employer of absence from work and the reason related to it and if requested by the employer shall provide a medical certificate specifying the employee’s capacity to work.

 

An employee cannot accumulate sick leave and any unused sick leave for each year automatically lapses in the next year. Employment Relations Act of 2007 (amended as of 2020), § 68.

Maternity Leave

A female employee who has been employed for a period of at least 150 days during the period of 9 months before the expected date of delivery of the child is entitled to paid maternity leave for a period of 98 consecutive days on providing a medical certificate to her employer specifying the expected date of delivery. 

 

An employee can avail of maternity leave at any time before or after delivery on the condition that if she continues to work during the time before the delivery period, she shall provide a medical certificate certifying that she is fit to work during that period. In case, a female employee is absent from work for a period of more than 98 consecutive days, in such a scenario she is not entitled to wages for the days in excess of 98 days.

 

In case a female employee dies before the expected birth or after the day of the birth of the child before receiving any wages which she may be entitled to, in such case the employer or any of her employers shall be liable to pay such wages to the nominee.

 

Pay – Employee is entitled to full regular pay for her first 3 births and half her regular pay for 4th and subsequent births.  Employment Relations Act of 2007 (amended as of 2020), § 101 – 103.

Paternity Leave

A male employee is entitled to 5 days of paid paternity leave if his partner (spouse or de facto partner) is entitled to maternity leave or would have been entitled to such leave if she were employed. An employee is entitled to paternity leave subject to the below conditions:

      • The employee has completed more than 3 months of continuous service with the same employer;
      • The employee is or is to be a primary caregiver for his child; and
      • The employee provides a medical certificate specifying the expected date of the birth of his child.

The paternity leave can be availed at any time during the 3 months period before and after the birth of the child. The leave can be taken either in a lump sum or in shorter periods, as may be agreed between the employer and employee but the total amount of leave-in aggregate shall not be less than 5 days.

 

Due to Covid -19 pandemic, an employee is entitled to paternity leave for not less than 2 working days within the covid period for a year of service.

 

Pay – An employee is entitled to full regular pay for the first 3 births and half of his regular pay for the 4th and subsequent births. Employment Relations Act of 2007 (amended as of 2020), § 101A.

Family Care Leave

An employee who has been in continuous employment with the same employer for a period of more than 3 months and intends to provide care or support to a member of his/her immediate family is entitled to paid leave for a duration of 5 working days. The leave cannot be accumulated and any unused leave shall lapse in the following year. Employment Relations Act of 2007 (amended as of 2020), § 68A.

 

Due to Covid -19 pandemic, an employee is entitled to paternity leave for not less than 2 working days within the covid period for a year of service.

Bereavement Leave

An employee who has been in continuous employment with the same employer for a period of more than 3 months is entitled to paid leave for a duration of 3 days in addition to any other leave entitlement. The leave cannot be accumulated and any unused leave shall lapse in the following year. Employment Relations Act of 2007 (amended as of 2020), § 69 and Employment Relations (Administrative) Regulations of 2008 Reg. 43.

Last updated on: June 23rd, 2021