28 Nov 2008

Vanuatu's govt to consult business sector over controversial legislation

10:41 am on 28 November 2008

Vanuatu's Finance Minister Sela Molisa says the government will consult with the business community over its concerns with the controversial amendments to the Employment Act.

There are concerns, particularly among 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 enjoy about 20 paid weeks off a year.

Mr Molisa says the International Labour Office advised the government on this Act, but that there was not enough consultation with the likes of Vanuatu's business community.

"At the end of the day, government has to weigh it up against other interests - in this case the economy. It's paramount in all this. We don't want to jeopardise the current economic growth that we've been enjoying now consistently for five years."

Sela Molisa.