The government ratification of three International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions will pave way for the improvement of labour laws and all matters relating to the workforce in the country, both in the private and public sectors.
The three conventions are the Labour Inspection Convention No. 81, Tripartite Consultation (International Labour Standards) Convention No. 144, and Violence and Harassment Convention No. 190.
Secretary of the Department of Labour and Industry Mr. George Taunakeke, explained that the governance of priority conventions are the Labour Inspection Convention and Tripartite Consultation Convention.
“They are categorised as priority of governance under ILO and those conventions become legally binding when ratified by parliament,” said the secretary.
“The other one, the violence and harassment convention, is only a technical convention and it also becomes legally binding when ratified.”
The ratification of the conventions will be conveyed to the ILO in due course after the department completes its consultations with the Department of Foreign Affairs.
Meanwhile, the secretary further stated that the review of the country’s labour laws will coincide with the ratification of these ILO conventions.
“It means going forward now is the immediate review of our labour laws that are currently in the process of being updated by the ministry and the department.”
“Reviewing and updating them, so they are compliant or consistent with these international conventions.”
He explained that the intention is to create a robust mechanism to establish effective labour inspections in the country, step up the tripartite consultations and strengthen the laws to protect everyone at the workplace in support of the government’s overall objectives.
“Our labour laws many of them are colonial laws and we have prioritized some of these labour laws for review this year. We are trying to modernize the labour laws so that they reflect the current social and economic climate.”
He added that the department will make sure that those reviewed laws are consistent with international standards as communicated through those three ILO conventions.
“In the ministry and the department, we will be doing that as part of our work this year and moving forward in terms of institutionalizing some of these conventions that have been ratified.”