Parliament yesterday passed three Bills.
The Bills include the Employment Relations (amendment) Bill 2018, Consideration Medicinal Products (amendment) Bill 2018 and the Public Enterprise amendment Bill 2018 and the motions were agreed to unanimously.
The considerations of the Bill were raised by the Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, said the Employment Relations amendment bill for 2018 sough to remove Section 88 of the Act.
Section 88 of the Bill states that an employer is not prevented from prohibiting the employment of females in underground work in mines of all kinds except for the following:
- in management positions not requiring manual work
- in health and welfare
- in education or training; or
- For occasional non-manual work.
The Employment Relations (Amendment Bill) 2018 is expected to remove section 88 of the Act and it was outdated.
He said in today’s modern Fiji there was nothing that a man can do that a woman could not.
The Bill would allow Fiji to maximise its productive capacity as women will also participate actively in all forms of employment.
The Bill was supported by the Opposition MP Biman Prasad and the Minister for Women Mereseini Vuniwaqa.
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum also moved the motion on the amendment Bill to the Medical Products Act 2011 that were all related to procedures and would make the processes streamlined and easier for the board to undertake their tasks.
He said the Act itself aims to protect the safety of the public by regulating medicinal products, poisons and other similar products.
He said Section 10 of the Act dealt with the procedures of the Board which have conflicting provisions which have caused some confusion in-terms of board meeting.
Section 10 allows the board to choose a board member to preside over the meeting in the absence of the presiding member or the deputy presiding member.
He said, however, Section 10/5 and 10/6 stated that any board meeting must include the chairperson or in meeting the deputy chairperson and four members and the meeting must be cancelled if both are not present.
He said for this reason the Board recommended that the conflicting provisions be corrected.
“Therefore the Medicinal Products amendment Bill seeks to amend section 10 of the Act to allow Board meeting to proceed in such circumstance where both the chair and deputy chairperson are both absent.”
The final Bill raised by Mr Sayed-Khaiyum was the Public Enterprise amendment Bill 2018 seeking that the Public Enterprise Act 1996 be amended.
He said the Act provided among other things the regulation of the structure of government commercial companies.
He said currently section 61 of the Act provided that the Government Commercial Company must have only two shareholders.
He said whereas Section 14 of the Companies Act provided that the company must have at least one shareholder.
“What this Bill seeks to do is to amend the Act to align the provisions of the Act that relate to the number of shareholders of the GCC to the Companies Act.”