Seasonal worker scheme suspended for four months


The increasing number of issues arising from the Seasonal Worker Scheme program is the reason behind the Government opting to suspend the program temporarily for four months.

Minister of Public Enterprises, Leatinu’u Wayne So’oialo said on TV EFKS that aside from the process there are also significant issues including the behaviour of those in the program.

Last week the Ministry of Commerce Industry and Labour announced the temporary suspension of the Seasonal Worker Scheme, until further notice.

According to Leatinuu Cabinet wanted to slow down the process of sending workers overseas while the Ministry conducts a full review of the program, given issues that surfaced.

“And so the Ministry was told the trips from January to March will proceed as scheduled however for April [to July] to slow down the process but it’s apparent the Ministry of Commerce Industry and Labour are not paying attention to the directive approved by Cabinet. 

“They are still sending workers,” said Leatinu’u.

Also, three proposals have been submitted by the Chamber of Commerce to Cabinet over concerns that workers are opting for the Seasonal Worker Scheme, leaving behind employment in the Country.

Defeating the whole purpose of why this program was created in the first place was mainly for the unemployed. 

To date, more than 6,00 Samoans are employed under the seasonal worker scheme in New Zealand ad Australia.