An archipelago of more than 300 islands in the South Pacific, Fiji is blessed with reliable access to global trade routes and communication. The World Bank recorded its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) worth 4.59 billion US dollars in 2021, having a positive growth since 2010.
Today, the business environment fosters new investment prospects with lower tax structures, well-connected infrastructure, and production opportunities, especially in industries like mining, manufacturing, garment-textile, information technology, floriculture, forestry, and agro-processing.
The demography of Fiji is experiencing a positive growth rate with about 57% labor force participation rate, close to the world average of 60% in 2021. The workforce in Fiji is young, tech-savvy, and has a high literacy rate, making it an ideal destination for business expansion.
Fiji’s labor laws uphold employment relations concerning employee rights and employer duties. While most jurisdictions in the region share similar rules for employment, some unique employer obligations in Fiji include:
- Statutory requirement to avoid the gender pay gap
- Mandatory record keeping of employee working hours, holidays, and leave entitlements
- The more significant share of employer contribution in social security premiums
Continue to read this page on Fijian employment law to learn the basic labor code practices for managing hired employees, including working hours, minimum wages, holiday entitlements, leave schemes, payroll tax & reporting obligations, employer penalties, and more.
Who is Covered by the Employment Act?
Fijian employment law covers all employment relationships and contracts concluded in the country. Full-time, part-time, or remote employees enjoy complete protection under the labor act rules in Fiji. At the same time, independent contractors or freelancers usually stay outside the ambit of Fijian employment rules, except for tax obligations and drafting contracts.
Certain negotiated benefits prescribed under the Fijian labor code, like working hour limits, the right to form unions or overtime compensation, are not extended to managerial positions.
Employment contracts establish employment relationships and work conditions, giving a detailed view of employer-employee obligations during employment. Fijian employment rules mandate a written employment contract if,
- The employment duration is over one month
- An agreement made between a local employer in Fiji and a non-resident employee within Fiji
The labor code in Fiji mandates employers to get foreign service contracts attested by the permanent secretary of the labor ministry.
Fijian labor law recommends the employment contract establish:
- Identity & signatures of the contracting parties
- Working hours, salary details, other conditions
- Grounds for termination/dismissal clause
- Procedures for settling an employment grievance
Employers may use the same contract template while hiring employees for full-time remote work. Additionally, we recommend employers establish the following employment conditions:
- The definition of work to be performed
- The means of performing work and method of communication
- The mechanism of recording work time and monitoring work activities
The employment contract for independent contractors or freelancers in Fiji may follow the same template, specifying the prescribed invoice taxation rate on the payments.
Further, the employment act in Fiji prohibits employers from mentioning a condition of employment that proactively dissuades employees from becoming a trade union member or staying away from union activities.
Key Provisions of the Act
The employment relations and labor law in Fiji arises from the following statutory sources –
- Employment Relations Act 2007 (last amended 2020)
- 2013 Constitution of the Republic of Fiji
- Legislations passed to enforce the ratified conventions under the International Labor Organization
- Various administrative orders from the Fijian labor ministry
Together, they form labor act rules in Fiji. The following sections deal with the essential provisions of Fijian employment rules which enforce the act.
- Working hours in Fiji labor law are fixed at a maximum of 48 hours a week or a maximum daily working period of nine hours.
- If the employment contract fixes the weekly working hours at 45 hours, the daily work hours are decided per a five-day work week.
- Therefore, employers may decide on daily work hours at eight hours for six weeks and nine hours for five weeks with prior consent from the employee.
- Fiji’s working hours law allows employers to set flexible working hours for managers or executives with decision-making autonomy.
- Employers are free to employ children above 15 between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.
- Fiji’s labor code fixes the maximum working hours for children at eight hours a day with at least 30 minutes of paid rest for every continuous four hours worked.
Recording of working hours
- The labor law in Fiji mandates employers to record the work time of all employees.
- An employer shall maintain the record for at least six years and may contain the following employee details:
- the employment commencement and termination dates
- daily attendance at the workplace
- the date on which annual, public holidays, and leave entitlements taken
- the total remuneration to employees in paid holidays
- Fijian labor law requires employers to note the following as official public holidays in a calendar year:
- New Years Day
- Prophet Mohammed’s Birthday
- National Sports Day
- Constitution Day
- Fiji Day
- Christmas Day
- Boxing Day
- Good Friday
- Easter Saturday
- Easter Monday
- Employers must mark the following Monday as a public holiday for special days like Christmas, Diwali, Prophet Mohammed’s Birthday, Boxing Day, or New Year falling on weekends (Saturday or Sunday).
- The following Tuesday is declared a public holiday if Boxing Day falls on a Sunday or Monday.
- Employers shall pay double the rate of regular wages to employees working on public holidays.
- Fiji’s employment rules allow employers to withhold the mandatory pay on public holidays if the employees remain absent the preceding or on the first working day after the public holiday.
Birth & parenting leave
The labor law in Fiji mandates employers to pay total leave compensation for the first three childbirths and reduce it to 50% of the usual remuneration for subsequent births.
Further, there is no mandatory provision for shared paternity leaves in Fiji. However, employers may include it in the employment contract. Let’s break down paid maternity and paternity leave per labor law in Fiji.
Fiji’s paid maternity leave is for 98 consecutive days.
Employers may seek a certificate mentioning the possible date of birth from a registered medical practitioner or registered nurse to grant paid maternity leave per Fiji’s labor law.
In the case of moonlighting employees, the Permanent Secretary of the labor office or labor inspector in Fiji determines wages to be paid by each employer.
Employers are liable to pay the remaining paid maternity leave compensation (if any) per Fijian labor law, even if the employee dies from any cause before or immediately after the expected birth.
Fiji’s employment law mandates at least five days of paid leave for employees whose spouse has given birth.
Employers are mandated to offer paid paternity leave entitlements per labor regulations in Fiji between three months before or after birth.
Fiji’s labor act rules require employers to offer ten days of paid annual leave, generally for vacation.
Employers may grant paid annual holidays in one unbroken period or two or more periods.
The labor law in Fiji allows employers to defer and let employees accumulate paid annual leave over a maximum period of four years. However, employers must grant at least one week’s vacation each year.
Employers may refuse to grant holiday entitlements to employees who remain absent for more than 20 standard working days during that year.
Employers are mandated to grant the following paid leave benefits per labor law in Fiji to employees who have served for three or more continuous months.
Family care leave
Fiji’s employment law mandates employers to grant at least five days of paid care leave benefits for the care of immediate family.
Employers need not accumulate unused care leave entitlements per the labor act rules in Fiji.
Fiji’s employment rules mandate employers to grant at least ten days of paid sick leave benefits.
Employers are not required to accumulate unused sick leave entitlements per the labor regulations in Fiji.
The labor code in Fiji mandates employers to provide three days of paid leave in the event of the death of the employee’s family members, such as mother, father, spouse, brother, sister, and child.
- The employment law in Fiji guides employers to pay equal to or above the minimum wage.
- The national minimum wage in Fiji is $3.67 per hour (Fijian dollars).
- Effective 1 January 2023, the minimum wage in Fiji is FJ$4 per hour (Fijian dollars).
- Fiji’s labor code establishes equal work opportunities putting obligations on employers to avoid gender pay parity.
- Overtime working hours per Fiji labor law are not capped and are usually agreed upon by mutual consent.
- Employers may fix compensation for each hour of overtime at 150%-200% of the standard hourly rate.
Payroll tax & other obligations
- Every employer in Fiji is subject to various payroll tax & social security obligations, including PAYE (pay as you earn), Statutory Training Tax, Contractors Provisional Tax, Annual Prescribed Registration Fees, and Annual returns filing and corporate tax returns.
- All employers must electronically engage with Fiji Revenue and Customs Service (FRCS) for reporting payday or salary processing day.
- Employers must withhold and report income tax on salary levied progressively between 0 to 20% from resident and non-resident employees.
- Employers who engage independent contractors or freelancers must also withhold tax from total payments at the prescribed rate.
- Employers must pay social security premiums monthly to Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF).
- The applicable rate of premiums per Fiji’s employment law is 18% of the employee’s salary. Employers contribute up to 10%, and employees contribute 8% towards social security premiums.
- Fiji’s employment rules require employers to disclose all payments and deductions, including employee contributions, in the monthly payslip to the employee.
- The monthly payslip must be electronically provided to the employee and contain the following details:
- Employee identity details like the employment number, Fiji National Provident Fund membership number, tax identification number
- Employer details
- the rate and number of hours worked at standard rates of pay and overtime (if applicable)
- the gross earnings of the employee (without mandatory deductions)
- the net earning of the employee (after compulsory deductions)
- Employers must provide valid reasons with a written statement for the termination or dismissal of employees.
- While the labor act rules in Fiji do not prescribe a statutory notice period, employers can take inspiration from the operating rules of the Ministry of the Economy:
- Employees with a contract period of one year or more – serve at least 30 consecutive days of the notice period
- Employees with a contract period of less than a year – minimum two weeks of the notice period
- Fiji’s employment law termination rules provide for redundancy pay. It obliges employers to pay employees not less than one week’s wages for each year of service for terminating employment due to economic, technological, or structural reasons.
Data protection and employee privacy
Fijian labor laws do not explicitly mention that employers must ensure employee data protection and privacy at the workplace.
However, employers in Fiji are recommended to follow global best practices while processing sensitive personal data, for example, during background checks or monitoring or surveillance in the workplace.
The Fijian labor code also prescribes employers set up an internal appeal system to mediate employee grievances at the workplace. In the case of sexual harassment complaints, employers must ensure women are represented adequately on the grievance panel.
Here are statutory penalty rates (in Fijian dollars) for employers who fail to keep up with mandatory provisions under labor law in Fiji:
- Failure to pay wages per agreed conditions in the contract will invite a penalty of FJ$1,000 for individuals and FJ$5,000 for corporations.
- Employers who fail to submit any foreign contract of service for attestation with the labor ministry are liable for a fine not exceeding FJ$20,000 or imprisonment not exceeding four years or both.
- Fiji’s labor code imposes a flat penalty of FJ$100 on employers for the following violations:
- Not providing payslips to employees in the recommended format
- Not recording employee working time or holiday and leave entitlements
- Not maintaining a separate register while employing children in the workplace
- Charging interest or making discount payments for advance salary
- Not recognizing trade unions and violating agreements
Fiji Employment Relations (Revised Budget Amendment) 2022
The Employment Relations (Revised Budget Amendment) Bill 2022 is a pending legislation whose objective is to suspend all employee entitlements extended during the COVID-19 pandemic. It will assist businesses and simplify employer obligations in the time ahead.
Compliance Strategies for Employers
Global companies and entrepreneurs may start hiring and managing skilled talent per Fijian labor law following the popular compliance strategies:
Following standard employment contract templates:
- Employers may draft legal contracts based on the mandatory requirements per labor law in Fiji, as discussed.
- Employers may use standard templates for drafting employment documents like offer letters, employment records like working time, leave entitlements, payroll, and termination notices.
Recruiting an in-house HR manager:
- Building an in-house team specializing in Fijian labor law may enhance and supervise hiring practices, employee training, employer obligations, etc., following the local employment rules.
- An in-house HR manager may oversee appraisals, reward management, and grievance redressal. They enjoy management’s confidence to deal with organizational changes and local industrial relations.
- In the absence of separate data protection and privacy provisions and heightened global awareness among employees, dedicated HR managers may ensure compliance and avoid legal liabilities.
Contemporary SaaS-based HR solutions
- An in-house team of HR experts may ensure compliant business expansion in Fiji, but it will be costly and time-consuming in the long run.
- To hire and manage employees effectively in Fiji, entrepreneurs and global companies need flexible HR solutions like Employer of Record (EOR) or Professional Employer Organization (PEO).
- Partnering with SaaS-based HR solutions helps employers to remain compliant with Fijian labor law throughout hiring & managing local talents.
- Employers may automate contract drafting, extend mandatory benefits per Fijian labor act rules, and disburse salaries by simply clicking a button.
How Can Multiplier Help?
Global employers or international firms can partner with Multiplier EOR without registering a local entity and still manage newly hired skilled talents in Fiji.
Even as your PEO partner, Multiplier provides a SaaS-based platform for automating employment contracts, drafting multi-lingual agreements, managing payrolls, salary payments, deducting taxes and social contributions, and more, per Fijian employment rules.
Multiplier platform offers advanced capabilities to take care of approved redundancy payments, deducting taxation and reporting obligations, and contractual requirements per the Fiji Revenue and Customs Service standards.
Either way, working with Multiplier will ensure 100% compliance with Fijian employment laws while hiring, managing, and dismissing employees. Our presence in 150+ countries makes us the preferred choice for your global expansion.