Employers’ Guidebook FAQs

This page will be updated with employment questions and answers. If you have an employment question and cannot find the answer in the Employers’ Guidebook please let staff of the VCCI know. We will answer it. We will also put a general answer (which does not identify specific businesses) here.

What is the law on accidents at work? The employee had an accident at work and went to the hospital.

Under the Employment Act (section 46) the employer must notify a labour officer of the accident.

The Workmen’s Compensation Act requires all employers to insure their employees for workplace accidents and injuries. The Act provides a schedule of compensation for permanent disabilities, but does not list compensation for temporary injuries.

Whilst statutes (Acts) do not say that the employer must pay for medical treatment for injuries at work, part of an employer’s common law duties include covering medical expenses for workplace injuries.  If the injury or accident was caused by the employee’s negligence then the employer’s liability for medical treatment may be reduced.

Many employee insurance policies cover medical treatment costs as well as permanent disability costs. You  insurance company should be able to assist you in determining the correct amount to be paid.


If my employee from Shefa and works in another province, should he get Shefa province day as a public holiday? And if he works on Shefa province day, what do I have to pay him?

Provincial holidays are for all people who originally come from that province regardless of where they are working. For instance someone from Shefa who is working in Sanma is entitled to take Shefa day as a public holiday. However there are some industries where employees can be required to work on public holidays ( see guide book fact-sheet 3.4).

If an employee works on public holiday, what he gets depend on whether work was voluntary or whether the employer required him to work.  If the employee worked voluntarily, there is  no requirement  to pay bonus or give additional leave. But if he is required to work on this particular holiday then the employee must be given an equivalent period of time off work on another day ( see guide book fact- sheet 3.4).

As a good employer, you should make sure you’re being fair to all of your staff. One way to do this is to give all employees a day off on theirs particular provincial holiday. Some businesses get staff to agree to all take the provincial holiday of the province where the business is located. What would be unfair is giving some employees a provincial holiday and  others nothing.


What law applies to domestic workers (such as housegirls and gardeners)?

The Employment Act applies to domestic workers as well as workers employed in private businesses. The Employers’ Guidebook can therefore be used be households as well as businesses.  You also need to pay Vanuatu National Provident Fund (VNPF) contributions for domestic workers if they earn more than 3000 vatu per month.