A law to encourage employment of local people was amended, expanding the list of eligible fields that employers could hire local employees from and gain tax benefit.

President Remengesau, on Wednesday, December 11th, signed a Senate bill into law, RPPL 10-43, amending the Skilled Labor Act, adding on to the list of eligible vocational areas, information technology and tourism fields.

The Skilled Labor Act provides incentive to employers that hire students that have been trained and certified by the Palau Community College in certain fields, to claim double of the salary paid the local worker to be deducted from their gross receipts prior to paying taxes.

For example, if an employer hires an employee with PCC certification in carpentry for $1,000, that employer can claim $2,000 deductible from his/her business gross receipts before paying the 4% tax on it.

The initial Act RPPL 9-22, only accommodated students certified in vocation fields such as automobile mechanics, boat mechanics, construction and other vocational skills.

The amendment, introduced by Senator Phillip Reklai, expands the list to include those certified by Palau Community College in the fields of information technology and in tourism services.

“We should do everything we can to increase the opportunities for our people including employment opportunities.  This is a start but we will continue to look to expand and improve this to include also certification of our people from outside of Palau, so that they have incentive to return home to work,” explained Senator Reklai of the need to amend the existing law.

Tourism is Palau largest industry contributing to Palau’s economy and the amendment provides incentives to the industry to hire local workers. (L.N. Reklai)