27 Nov 2008

Vanuatu minister says employment act may be revisited

4:28 pm on 27 November 2008

Vanuatu's Finance Minister Sela Molisa concedes there was not enough consultation over amendments to the Employment Act which have just been passed by parliament.

There are concerns, particularly in the private sector, over the section of the Act providing for severance payments to be calculated at two months per year and applied retroactively.

Furthermore, provisions to increase paid annual leave, added to public holidays, paid sick leave and long service leave entitlements would mean that some employees stand to get about 20 paid weeks off a year.

Mr Molisa admits the legislation has been pushed through without proper consultation.

"I think we must consult properly with the private sector who will be very much affected by this new legislation. It won't become an Act until it's gazetted so I think what the government's going to do is delay the gazetting so that it doesn't come into force until we're ready for another amendment. We're going to consult on it and then maybe go back to parliament in the new year."

Sela Molisa