Vanuatu

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Country Snapshot

The GPS Country Snapshot includes 25 sections of information about labor law compliance in Vanuatu. See a sample of popular sections below.

Termination of Employment

A contract for an unspecified period may conclude when the notice period given by either party to the employment contract expires. Notice may be written or verbal and can be given at any time.  If the employee has been in service for more than 3 years, then the notice period cannot be less than 3 months. In any other case, the notice period is 14 days for those employees who are paid not more than every 14 days or 1 pay cycle for any employee who is paid more than every 14 days. At the employee’s request, the employer must give the employee paid time off in order to search for new employment during the notice period. Notice does not have to be given when the employer pays the employee their wages in lieu of giving notice.  

Work Permits

Non-citizens of Vanuatu are prohibited from employment in Vanuatu without a work permit. Work permits are valid up to 2 years for an indefinite period contract or 3 years or the duration of a fixed-term contract, whichever period is shorter. Work permits can be renewed. If an employer obtains a work permit to employ a non-citizen, then the employer must pay an annual tax of VUV 250,000 (Vanuatu Vatu). Temporary work permits are available for non-citizens who will be employed for a period not exceeding 4 months. 

Paid Annual Leave

Employees are entitled to 12 weeks of paid maternity leave. An employer may not allow an expecting employee to work for the first 6 weeks after the delivery date. The employee may take up to 6 weeks before delivery. During this time, the employee is entitled to at least half the remuneration they would have earned had they not been absent. Employers may not dismiss employees who are absent due to maternity leave or because of an illness related to pregnancy and certified by a medical practitioner. Absences caused by illnesses related to pregnancy are only protected for up to 3 weeks.  

Working Hours

“Hours of work” means the time when an employee is at the disposal of the employer and does not include rest periods when the employee is not at the employer’s disposal. 

Full-time employment is not defined in Vanuatu labor law. The maximum number of hours an employee may work in a week is 44 hours.  The employee may only work 6 days out of the week and up to 8 hours a day. Employers must provide work for employees according to their contracts.  If the employer has no work for the employee, the employer still must pay the employee for the hours of work agreed upon in the contract.

Maternity Leave

Employees are entitled to 12 weeks of paid maternity leave. An employer may not allow an expecting employee to work for the first 6 weeks after the delivery date. The employee may take up to 6 weeks before delivery. During this time, the employee is entitled to at least half the remuneration they would have earned had they not been absent. Employers may not dismiss employees who are absent due to maternity leave or because of an illness related to pregnancy and certified by a medical practitioner. Absences caused by illnesses related to pregnancy are only protected for up to 3 weeks.  

Minimum Wage

The minimum wage in Vanuatu is VUV 300 per hour. This is for regular hours of work, up to 44 hours per week, or 8 hours per day. 

Country Profile

The GPS Country Profile contains detailed information on over 60 topics related to labor law compliance within Vanuatu.
  • Type of Employment Relationship
  • Permanent Employment
  • Fixed-Term or Specific-Purpose Contracts
  • Temporary Employment Contracts
  • Part-time Employment
  • Young Worker Employment
  • Vendors and Independent Contractors
  • Types of Contracts
  • Probationary Period
  • Termination of the Contract of Employment
  • Grounds for Termination
  • Notice of Dismissal
  • Fair Dismissal
  • Redundancy
  • Unfair Dismissal
  • Suspension of Contract of Employment
  • Severance Benefits
  • Hours of Work
  • Work Week and Timekeeping
  • Night Work and Shift Work
  • Overtime
  • Remote Work
  • Required Time Off
  • Public Holidays
  • Annual Leave
  • Sick Leave
  • Maternity
  • Other Forms of Leave
  • Social Insurance and Retirement
  • Social Security Contribution
  • National Retirement Scheme
  • Dependents’/Survivors Benefit
  • Life and Disability Insurance/Benefit
  • Statutory Allowances
  • Compensation and Benefits
  • Minimum Wage (Basic Wage)
  • Bonuses, Profit Sharing and Other Compensation
  • Medical Insurance
  • Work Environment
  • Workplace Safety and Health
  • Prohibition of Discrimination
  • Prohibition of Harassment
  • Data Protection and Privacy
  • Whistleblowers and Retaliation
  • Workers’ representation in the organization
  • Freedom of Association
  • Registration and Recognition of Unions
  • Trade Union Personality
  • Collective Bargaining and Agreements
  • Disputes and Settlements
  • Strikes and Lockouts
  • Unfair Labor Practices
  • Taxation of Compensation and Benefits
  • Income Tax
  • Taxation of Employee Benefits
  • Tax Filing and Payment Procedures
  • Double Tax Relief and Tax Treaties
  • Visas and Work Permits
  • Visas
  • Work Permits and Residence Permits

 Country Snapshot

Get the full Country Snapshot with 25 sections of information about labor law in Vanuatu.