27 Nov 2008

Maternity leave pay change in Vanuatu stirs debate

6:47 pm on 27 November 2008

The president of Vanuatu's National Council of Women says changes to maternity leave payments under new amendments to the Employment Act could harm women's employment prospects.

Vanuatu's private sector has expressed outrage over the amendments which were passed by parliament with very little consultation.

The Act includes a provision to increase maternity leave pay from 50 percent of the salary over 12 weeks to a full salary over the same period.

The council's president, Manina Packete says while the increase is ostensibly good for women workers, there are deeper issues which should have been explored.

"I mean if I am the one who is pregnant I would be glad if they paid me 100 percent but the employers, they will suffer for it. it will become an issue that they won't be glad to employ women."

Manina Packete of Vanuatu's National Council of Women