Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Nepal, Mauritius sign labour deal

Nepal and Mauritius today signed a labour deal on the sidelines of the ILO Centenary Conference in Geneva, Switzerland – to facilitate the flow of Nepali migrant workers to the Sub Saharan African island nation – in the the presence of Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli.
The agreement – signed by Minister for Labour, Employment and Social Security Gokarna Bista and Mauritius Minister for Labour, Industrial Relations, Employment and Training Soodesh Satkam Callichurn – commits that both the country will employ workers in accordance to the principles of transparency, ethical recruitment, fairness and mutual benefit. “
According to the pact, all the costs and fees for recruitment shall be borne by the employer, including the fees paid to the recruitment agencies in Nepal. “Nepali migrant labourers in Mauritius will be employed in the hospitality, hotel and manufacturing sectors; recruited persons will get a minimum wage equal to that of Mauritians, which is about $240, and no worker will be discriminated based on wages, compensation, work environment, overtime and access to justice,” it reads.
Likewise, the agreement also reads that Mauritius employers will incur all the travel and other costs of Nepali workers under ‘Employer Pays Principle’, which includes fees to recruitment agencies, travel expenses, work permits, insurance fees, medical expenses and other expenses incurred during the recruitment process.
Similarly, the employer will also bear expenses in the event of death and repatriation of the body and the last rites involved, with the consent of deceased persons’ families, the provisions of the Nepal-Mauritius Labour Agreement, reads, adding that the workers have the right to judicial remedy at ‘no cost’, along with allowing them to apply for visa and get temporary employment even when a case is sub judice – under judicial consideration but prohibited from public discussion. “Through the MoU, both countries have expressed their commitment to control and regulate the practice of charging workers unnecessary fees while going for employment.”
The Nepal-Mauritius labour pact also includes leave for workers in the event of family members’ death, emergency insurance coverage, medical treatment in accordance with Mauritius laws, one month gratuity for each year of employment and employment certificate on return to Nepal after completion of work experience. “Both the countries shall cooperate to address issues of irregular and/or illegal recruitment of workers as well as matters relating to trafficking and forced labour.”
Workers shall have the ability to change jobs legally in case the employer does not abide by the contractual obligations or a business shuts down, the agreement reads, adding, “In such cases, the worker shall have the right to return to Nepal if he or she so desires and the employer will have to bear all associated costs. The agreement also has provisions for proper monitoring of timely payment of wages and other benefits.”
Likewise, a Joint Working Group will be set up to ensure proper implementation of the pact and to determine other key items associated with the workers’ recruitment, employment and repatriation, including mutual skills recognition, insurance coverage amount. Medical treatment and insurance for workplace injury shall be provided as per the laws of Mauritius, the pact reads.
The labour pact is the government’s effort to expand the number of job destinations for Nepalis seeking foreign employment, though the government has been claiming to create employment in the country. The government has also started the Prime Minister Employment Programme (PMEP) to create the employment, which according to the experts the gross misuse of the tax payers money.

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