14 Jan 2009

Vanuatu's Minister for Internal Affairs says govt can not meet with private sector

11:49 am on 14 January 2009

Vanuatu's Minister for Internal Affairs, Patrick Crowby, says the Government cannot meet with private sector employers to review the controversial Employment Amendment Bill passed late last year.

The bill was passed without consultation with the private sector, causing a public outcry among companies, many of whom immediately threatened to dismiss their workers.

Among the Bill's provisions was an increase in severance pay of one month per year that a person has worked to two months.

In response to the outcry the cabinet mandated the Ministers for Internal Affairs, Finance and Trade to meet with the Chamber of Commerce to review the content of the bill.

The Daily Post reports that Mr Crowby, who originally tabled the Bill, says they were in the process of exchanging notes on the matter ahead of them when the State Office applied to have the constitutionality of the Bill examined by the Supreme Court.

He says they can't review the Bill now as the application is already before the court, and it is beyond their reach.