Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Concerns in Vanuatu over minimum wage hike - RNZ

The president of the Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce and Industry has expressed disappointment in the government's decision to press forward with a substantial minimum wage increase despite industry concerns.

From June 1, the minimum wage in Vanuatu will be increased by 36 percent from $US1.82 (VT220) an hour to $US2.48 (VT300).

"Employers must not pay their workers less than this rate for hours worked," the Vanuatu Daily Post reported.

"The minimum wage was increased from VT200 per hour to VT220 per hour in 2019. Under law, minimum wage rate should be reviewed once every two years based on economic factors. The last one was four years ago."

But VCCI president Antoine Boudier said they are deeply concerned about how this decision has come about without any private sector consultation.

Boudier said it leaves inadequate time to prepare for its implementation and he is calling on the government to "let common sense prevail" and not proceed with gazetting of the Order.

He warns that an increase in the minimum wage will not translate to an increase in buying power for Vanuatu citizens.

"The VCCI has attempted to work cooperatively in good faith with the Vanuatu government, including the Department of Labour, to ensure a balanced approach to any increase to Vanuatu's minimum wage so that will not adversely affect Vanuatu's economy and compound cost-of-living pressures," Boudier said.

"We are deeply concerned about how this decision has come about without any private sector...

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