Seasonal workers urged to report deceptive agents to police

The Seasonal Employment Act does not allow agents to charge any fees from workers, says Labor Commisisioner Meltenoven. Photo: Kizzy Kalsakau

Seasonal workers are encouraged to submit reports to the Department of Labour and also file complaints to police whenever they believe they have been financially deceived by their agents, which is against the Penal Code.

On their return after working abroad, seasonal workers are not obliged to give money or a fee as a form of gift to their agents for engaging them in the programs, said the Commissioner of Labor, Murielle Meltenoven.

“The Seasonal Employment Act does not allow agents to charge any fees from seasonal workers. “Accepting money as a gift from workers questions the agent’s reputation as a marketing agent and can lead to nepotism,” she said. There are allegations about agents refusing to send workers abroad again just because they did not give money to acknowledge their (agents) support, according to Meltenoven.

“Apart from Silvie Kalmet, the Department of Labour has refused several other seasonal workers’ agent license last year due to such illegal practices.

“Regarding recent social media allegations about agent John Salong, we (the department) encourage workers to submit complaints with receipts as evidence for investigation.

“We understand he has transferred his agent license to a family member,” which means the license is no longer under the name of the member of parliament for Ambrym.

Commissioner Meltenoven encourage seasonal workers to keep praying to God for protection and to behave appropriately while working abroad.

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