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Port Moresby
December 3, 2021

Labour Law Reform

The final report on the Labour Law Reform by the International Labour Organization (ILO) was presented to the government today.

It outlines the extensive work done to develop a new and appropriate Employment Relations Bill.


The report was received by Minister for Labour and Industrial Relations Benjamin Poponawa in a ceremony at the Grand Papua Hotel.


It is a small but significant event for PNG and other Pacific Island countries. The International Labour Organization (ILO) began framing this report in 2011 with funding from the Australian Government.


ILO’s technical assistance now paves the review of the Employment Act 1978 and drafting of the Employment Relations Bill.


ILO’s Director for Pacific Island Countries, David Lamotte, says weakness in labour legislation attracts a high social and economic cost and will continue if it is not given attention.


Mr Lamotte says political leadership and public consultation are key drivers in ensuring policy-making becomes a reality for both employers and workers in PNG.


Australian High Commissioner Deborah Stokes was glad to see the report come out.


In response, Labour Minister Benjamin Poponawa said it was not easy for ILO to pull this report in the areas of Industrial Relations, Employment and Occupational Health and Safety.


The report was presented to Minister Poponawa, witnessed by Ms Stokes, Heads of UN Agencies, Department Heads, ILO Directors from Fiji and local labour officers.


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