Employer Survey (Employment Relations Bill)
In 2011 the Triparite Labour Advisory Council (TLAC) began discussions on a proposed new Employment Relations Bill – the ERB. For more information on the ERB see:
In July 2013 at the VCCI Private Sector Business Forum (PSBF July 2013) the VCCI conducted some consultation with employers on the ERB. The report of the PSBF July 2013 private sector business forum is here. The PSBF July 2013 indicated that:
- Employers felt that they had not been consulted on the ERB
- Employers had very little awareness of the content of the ERB
- Employers were concerned that the current content of the ERB would increase costs of doing business
- Employers wanted more information about the proposed changes in the ERB – particularly as they related to costs and competitiveness with other Pacific Island Countries. The preferred form of this information was written summaries, circulated by email.
- Employers wanted to be consulted more – with about 75% of participants saying they would be available for a follow up interview
As a result of this the VCCI launched the Employer Survey Project in 2014. The long survey helped to give employers more information on the ERB. A short survey, for businesses without formal employees, gathered more general views about business development needs and what the Vanuatu government should include in the National Sustainable Development Plan. This is the government’s main medium term development roadmap.
Survey results showed the businesses rejected the ERB in its current form. It is too complex and hard to understand. It makes employment more costly for many. Instead employers want a fair, workable situation that will lead to employment growth and private sector led development for the good of all of Vanuatu. Employers prefer amending the existing Employment Act to develop the labour market environment.
The results of this survey, along with extensive consultations, were used to develop:
- the VCCI position paper on the ERB
- a draft draft of proposed amendments to the Employment Act [Cap 160]
- a position paper on severance allowance
- a position paper on leave entitlements
- a summary of employer comments on the NSDP
- a data report on survey findings
Information on the ERB
Common questions the survey team was asked about the ERB included (click questions for answers):
- Will the ERB make it more expensive for me to employ staff?
- If an employee wants to resign how much notice must he or she give?
- What will happen with staff who have been employed under the ERB when the law changes? In particular, what will happen with severance entitlements?
- Will the ERB make it harder for me to terminate employment of staff?