Partnership Announcement – Glenis Yee

Glenis Yee will join the partnership of Munro Leys with effect from 1 January 2017. Originally from Lautoka, Glenis is an accomplished commercial lawyer. She holds commerce and law degrees from Bond University in Queensland and a Graduate Diploma of Applied Finance and Investment from FINSIA. She is admitted in the New South Wales and… Read more »

NEW LAND SALES REGULATIONS 2016

In our 22 July 2016 alert we referred to the intention of the Government of Fiji to enact Regulations to govern offences, penalties and extensions of time on the construction deadline of 31 December 2016. These Regulations have now been issued (including, at the back of the Regulations, the six-page application form to be used… Read more »

Changes to Land Sales Act allow non-residents to apply to extend December deadline for building on residential land

Introduction 1. Earlier this month the Fiji Parliament enacted the Land Sales (Budget Amendment) Act 2016 (“Amendment Act”). The Amendment Act is aimed at non-resident owners of Fiji land caught by the 2014 law changes. They will now be able to apply for additional time beyond the existing December 2016 deadline to complete building on… Read more »

Employment taxation incentives

1. Introduction The Minister of Finance presented the 2016-17 National Budget to Parliament on Wednesday 23 June 2016 and introduced a number of budget amendment bills to the House. These bills were debated and enacted by Parliament on Friday 8 July 2016. 2. Employment The 2016-17 Budget is designed to focus on rehabilitation of public… Read more »

The Companies Act – Annual Registration Fees

Introduction The Companies Act 2015 requires a company to pay prescribed annual registration fees to the Registrar of Companies within 28 days of the anniversary of its registration date. This means, for example, that if a company (including a company formed before 2016) was registered on 1 April, registration fees must be paid not later… Read more »

Fair Reporting of Credit Act 2016

The Fair Reporting of Credit Bill, No 27 of 2016 was passed under urgency by the Fiji Parliament on Wednesday 27 April 2016. The Bill is expected to be enacted shortly and published in the Fiji Government Gazette. On commencement of the Fair Reporting of Credit Act, (on a date to be appointed by the… Read more »

Law firm offers a helping hand

       SUVA law firm Munro Leys decided to help the families of its workers who had been affected by Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston by providing stationery and food packs to villages on Ovalau. Read more.      

Changes to the law for employees of “essential industries” Employment Relations Promulgation (Amendment) Act 2015

Introduction 1. A new Employment Relations Promulgation (Amendment) Act 2015 has been passed by the Fiji Parliament and published in the Gazette. It came into effect on 11 September 2015. 2. The Amendment Act makes a few changes to the Employment Relations Promulgation 2007 (“ERP”) which apply generally, but its main purpose is to repeal… Read more »

Income Tax Bill – No 22 of 2015

The Income Tax Bill is now in circulation, intended to repeal Fiji’s 41-year old Income Tax Act. It is understood that it will be debated in the November 2015 Parliamentary session with a view to it taking effect on 1 January 2016. That is less than four months away for those persons with year-ends which… Read more »

Workmen’s Compensation Amendments

Attached is a copy of the Workmen’s Compensation (Amendment) Act 2015 which was tabled, debated and passed by Parliament all on the same day – 8 July 2015. It came into force on 17 July 2015, the date it was officially published in the Gazette. Under the Workmen’s Compensation Act, an employer is liable to pay… Read more »

The New Government Regulations on Wages

Introduction 1. A number of Regulations governing wages (including the new National Minimum Wage) have just been published in the Gazette and were stated to come into effect, on 1 July 2015. We have some doubt about their validity. The uncertainty arising from these issues has the potential to be bad for everybody – employers,… Read more »

New Employment Relations Regulations 2015

LN 51 of 2015 – Employment Relations (National Minimum Wage) Regulations 2015 LN 52 of 2015 – Wages (Building and Civil and Electrical Engineering Trades) Regulations 2015 LN 53 of 2015 – Wages (Hotel and Catering Trades) Regulations 2015 LN 54 of 2015 – Wages (Manufacturing Industry) Regulations 2015 LN 55 of 2015 – Wages… Read more »

Fiji Immigration policy changes – short-term work permits

Introduction 1. People intending to work in Fiji have previously been able to apply for and obtain a Short Term (Work) Permit (STP) (enabling them to work for up to six months) while in Fiji on a four-month tourist visa.  As of 15 December 2014, the Fiji Immigration Department has advised us that this policy no… Read more »

Land Sales (Amendment) Act 2014

Introduction  1. On 27 November 2014 we issued a Legal Alert on proposed amendments to the Land Sales Act in Bill No. 13 of 2014. This bill was withdrawn after a strong public reaction. However Bill No. 28 of 2014 (now Act No. 16 of 2014) was then enacted, with virtually no parliamentary debate and… Read more »

Employment Law Update

Introduction 1. On 11 December 2014, among other Bills, the following Acts were enacted to amend employment related legislation: (a)Fringe Benefit Tax (Budget Amendment) Act No. 6 of 2014. (b)Stamp Duties (Budget Amendment) Act No. 12 of 2014. (c)Fiji National Provident Fund (Amendment Act) Act No. 13 of 2014. Copies of the Acts which commence on 1 January 2015 are… Read more »

Amendments to stamp duty rates

Introduction 1. The 2013 National Budget Address on 22 November 2012 announced a review of stamp duty rates. These changes (and others not announced) have now been enacted in the Stamp Duty (Amendment) Decree 2012, No 84 of 2012. 2. Some of the changes arising from the amendment were not foreshadowed, are somewhat surprising and… Read more »

Notice of Wages Regulation Proposals

Introduction This Alert summarises the proposed Wages Regulation Orders (WROs) gazetted on 29 June 2012 (Proposals) pursuant to the Employment Relations Promulgation 2007 (ERP). The ERP requires the relevant wages councils to publish notice of the Proposals stating: (a)   the place where copies of the proposal may be obtained (b)   the period within which written representations on… Read more »

Industry Emblem Decree 2011 Alert

Introduction 1. The Government has issued a new Industry Emblem Decree 2011(Decree) to allow manufacturers and growers of Fiji goods to promote those goods under a branded “Fijian made” or “Fijian grown” emblem. Use of the emblem is not compulsory but those who wish to use it must meet certain requirements set by the Decree…. Read more »

Capital Gains Tax Decree 2011

Introduction 1. Capital Gains Tax (CGT) now applies in Fiji. The Capital Gains Tax Decree 2011(Decree) was published on 16 May 2011 and its effect is backdated to 1 May 2011. Those parts of the Land Sales Act taxing profits on land sales have been repealed. 2. The Decree imposes CGT at the rate of 10% on capital gains on… Read more »

Tax Administration (Amendment) Decree 2010

MORE TAX BUREAUCRACY (for banks and all of us) Introduction 1. The government has now issued the Tax Administration (Amendment) Decree 2010(Amendment Decree). 2. The Amendment Decree was issued in the Gazette of 26 October 2010. It has apparently been in force since 15 August meaning that some people may have been in breach of a law… Read more »

Proposed Health and Safety at Work (Plant) Regulations 2010

(new regulatory process for plant safety; new categories of plant included) Introduction 1. The government last month released draft Health and Safety at Work (Plant) Regulations (Regulations) to certain industry stakeholders for comment. The new draft law appears to have had only limited circulation with a short time for feedback, now (officially) expired. 2. The… Read more »

Commerce Commission Decree 2010

(Mostly the same, more confusing, less to challenge) Introduction 1. On 24 September 2010 the government published the Commerce Commission Decree 2010[1] (Decree). It is stated to have come into force on 1 July 2010. What the Decree does (?) 2. The Decree intends to replace and consolidate the Counter-Inflation Act (Cap. 73), Fair Trading Decree 1992… Read more »

New York Convention Local

Fiji has signed the 1958 Convention on the Recognition of Foreign Arbitral Awards. Arbitration awards in Fiji may now be directly enforced in Convention countries, and vice versa. Introduction 1. On 25 September 2010, Fiji signed the 1958 Convention on the Recognition of Foreign Arbitral Awards (New York Convention). The Convention has 142 State parties,… Read more »

New York Convention International

Fiji has ratified the 1958 Convention on the Recognition of Foreign Arbitral Awards. Arbitration awards in Convention countries may now be directly enforced in Fiji, and vice versa. Introduction 1. On 27 September 2010, Fiji ratified the 1958 Convention on the Recognition of Foreign Arbitral Awards (New York Convention). The Convention enters into force in… Read more »

Environment Management Non Compliance Inspections

Introduction 1. The Environment Management (Waste Disposal & Recycling) Regulations 2007 (“the Legislation”) require all industrial and commercial facilities to have a waste permit (unless exempted). [See previous legal alert on Munro Leys website www.munroleyslaw.com] 2. The Department of Environment (“DOE”) is currently conducting a series of site visits to all commercial and industrial facilities in… Read more »

Waste Disposal And Recycling Permits Under The Environment Management Act

Introduction 1. The Department of Environment (“DoE”) has launched the first of a series of campaigns to enforce compliance with the Environment Management Act 2005 (“EMA”) and the Regulations made under it.  If your business has not yet applied for and obtained the necessary permits you are likely to be issued with a default notice and an application… Read more »

Administration of Justice Decree

Introduction 1. Further to our Alert on the Abrogation of the Fiji Constitution and the resulting termination of all judicial appointments, the new Fiji Government has issued a decree relating to the administration of justice. As with our earlier Alert, this one is practically, rather than constitutionally, oriented. We do not comment on the legality… Read more »