Close to 200 RSE workers returns next week, due to bad behaviour


There are close to 200 people from the Recognised Seasonal Employment scheme that will be returning to Samoa next week, for breaching of contract including “bad behaviour”.

This was confirmed by Minister of Public Enterprises, Leatinuu Wayne So’oialo.

In Parliament this week, he also pointed out that the suspension of the Scheme is temporary to allow consultations with the Australian and NZ high Commissioner. 

This was due to the average number of flights per month taking seasonal workers overseas at least three times a month. Adding that 390 RSE employees will be returning as their contracts have ended.

“The Ministry [of Commerce Industry and Labour] is ensuring the applicants are thoroughly evaluated in order to select the right person for the job.”

He reminded the successful applicants currently overseas that they are working overseas on permits therefore they shouldn’t abuse the opportunity. 

“There are about 200 people from the Scheme who will be returned next week due to bad behaviour and not abiding with the conditions.

“For instance, some went overseas while a single but returned with a child and some had extramarital status while at the scheme works.”

The Minister clarified that a Committee has been appointed to review this matter. They are made up of Government officials from MCIL, MWSCD, MPMC, MFAT, New Zealand High Commission, International Labour Organization, Australian High Commission, Falealili Trust Fund and Samoa Workers Congress.

Adding there is a Terms of Reference prepared for the Members of the Committee to follow and they are tasked to submit recommendations was put forth to have a consultant to work on this project but the Minister thought otherwise, saying this project requires common sense.

Leatinuu, said the Recognised Seasonal Employment scheme remittances for the period 2020-2021 December was $6 million which includes Samoans living overseas.

“This amount of money was a great help to our economy considering that only 8,000 of our people went overseas for Seasonal work; therefore, the government was not trying to stop the scheme but rather try to review its current conditions and processes.”