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Vanuatu - Working time - 2011


LAST UPDATE

22 September 2011

SOURCES


Name of Act

Employment Act Chapter 160, commenced 30 May 1983 incorporating amendments made in Acts 1 of 1983, 20 of 1986, 33 of 1989, 8 of 1995, 3 of 1997 and 16 of 2001 and including amendments made by Acts 31 of 2008, 33 of 2009 and 25 of 2010. Published by Pacific Islands Legislation Information Institute at www.paclii.org and accessed 21 September 2011.

LEGAL DEFINITIONS


Working time/working hours

Hours of work means the time during which an employee is at the disposal of the employer and does not include rest periods during which he is not at the disposal of the employer.
Employment Act 1983 (as amended up to 2010) §28

Employee/worker

The term employee is not defined by the Employment Act. However, the following categories of employees are expressly excluded from the scope of the working time provisions in Part 6 (Hours of Work and Overtime Pay):
i) any undertaking in which only members of the employer’s family are employed;
(ii) offices in which staff is engaged in connection with the administration of public authority;
(iii) persons occupying positions of management or employed in a confidential capacity;
(iv) such other classes of persons as may be prescribed under §27.

However, the above categories are covered by Part 7 (Annual Leave and Sick Leave).
Employment Act 1983 (as amended up to 2010) §27

Employer

The term employer is not defined by the Employment Act.
Employment Act 1983 (as amended up to 2010)

NORMAL HOURS LIMITS


Daily hours limit


General limit

No employee shall be required to work in any undertaking more than 8 hours in any day exclusive of the time allowed for meals and tea.
Employment Act 1983 (as amended up to 2010) §22(1)

Exceptions

The limit on daily hours of work may be exceeded:
(a) in case of accident, actual or threatened, or in case of urgent work to be done to machinery or plant, or in case of an emergency, but only so far as may be necessary to avoid serious interference with the ordinary working of the undertaking;
(b) in those processes which by their nature are required to be carried on continuously by a succession of shifts;

Further, in case of a general interruption of work due to holidays or accidents to plant, interruption of power, light or water, or similar occurrences causing serious material damage to an undertaking, hours of work in the day may be increased for the purpose of making up the hours of work which have been lost, provided that:
(a) hours of work which have been lost shall not be made up on more than 30 days in the year and shall be made with a reasonable lapse of time;
(b) the increase in hours of work in the day shall not exceed 1 hour;
(c) hours of work in the day shall not exceed 10; and
(d) the employer shall as soon as practicable notify the labour officer of any increase of hours of work mentioned in this subsection.

Finally, the daily hours limit does not apply to the following categories of workers:
(i) those working in an undertaking in which only members of the employer’s family are employed;
(ii) offices in which staff is engaged in connection with the administration of public authority;
(iii) persons occupying positions of management or employed in a confidential capacity;
(iv) such other classes of persons as may be prescribed under §27.
Employment Act 1983 (as amended up to 2010) §§22(2), 22(3), 27

Weekly hours limit


General limit

No employee shall be required to work in any undertaking more than 44 hours in any week exclusive of the time allowed for meals and tea.
Employment Act 1983 (as amended up to 2010) §22(1)

Exceptions

Provided that the working hours shall not exceed an average of 56 in a week, the limit on weekly hours of work may be exceeded:
(a) in case of accident, actual or threatened, or in case of urgent work to be done to machinery or plant, or in case of an emergency, but only so far as may be necessary to avoid serious interference with the ordinary working of the undertaking;
(b) in those processes which by their nature are required to be carried on continuously by a succession of shifts.

The weekly hours limit does not apply to the following categories of employees:
(i) those working in an undertaking in which only members of the employer’s family are employed;
(ii) offices in which staff is engaged in connection with the administration of public authority;
(iii) persons occupying positions of management or employed in a confidential capacity;
(iv) such other classes of persons as may be prescribed.
Employment Act 1983 (as amended up to 2010) §§22(2), 27

OVERTIME WORK


Criteria for overtime


General

Work in excess of the daily or weekly limit may be required in the following circumstances:
(a) in case of accident, actual or threatened, or in case of urgent work to be done to machinery or plant, or in case of an emergency, but only so far as may be necessary to avoid serious interference with the ordinary working of the undertaking;
(b) in those processes which by their nature are required to be carried on continuously by a succession of shifts.
Employment Act 1983 (as amended up to 2010) §22(2)
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Worker`s influence

No provision is made for worker influence with regards to overtime worked on normal working days. However, employees (other than employees in industries transport, public utility, hospitality, entertainment, health care, journalism and animal husbandry) cannot be required to work overtime on a Sunday or public holiday unless the employees volunteers to work on those days.
Employment Act 1983 (as amended up to 2010) §23(1), (2)

Limits on overtime hours


General limits

An employee’s total working hours shall not exceed an average of 56 hours in a week.
Employment Act 1983 (as amended up to 2010) §22(3)

Restrictions/exceptions

The limit on overtime hours does not apply to the following categories of employees:
(i) those working in an undertaking in which only members of the employer’s family are employed;
(ii) offices in which staff is engaged in connection with the administration of public authority;
(iii) persons occupying positions of management or employed in a confidential capacity;
(iv) such other classes of persons as may be prescribed.
Employment Act 1983 (as amended up to 2010) §27

Compensation for overtime work


Overtime rate(s)

Work carried out in excess of the normal weekly limit (44hrs/wk) must be paid at the following rates:
(i) for the first 4 hours - at a minimum rate equal to 1.25 times the normal hourly rate;
(ii) in excess of 4 hours - at a minimum rate equal to 1.5 times the normal hourly rate;
(iii) between the hours of 8pm and 4am - at a minimum rate equal to 1.75 times the normal hourly rate.
Employment Act 1983 (as amended up to 2010) §26(1)(b), (c)
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Exceptions

The overtime rates do not apply to persons engaged in domestic service of the employer.
Employment Act 1983 (as amended up to 2010) §26(2)

Compensatory rest

No entitlement to compensatory rest for overtime work identified.

Notice of requirement to work overtime


General provisions

No notice requirements identified.

REST PERIODS


Rest breaks


General provisions

Every employee who is at work for more than 6 consecutive hours on 1 day shall be granted a break of 1 hour for a meal and a tea break of 20 minutes or 2 tea breaks of 10 minutes each.
Employment Act 1983 (as amended up to 2010) §24

Exceptions

The entitlement to rest breaks does not apply to:
(i) any undertaking in which only members of the employer’s family are employed;
(ii) offices in which staff is engaged in connection with the administration of public authority;
(iii) persons occupying positions of management or employed in a confidential capacity;
(iv) such other classes of persons as may be prescribed under §27.
Employment Act 1983 (as amended up to 2010) §27

Weekly rest periods


Duration


» General

Every employee shall be entitled to a weekly rest of 24 consecutive hours.
Employment Act 1983 (as amended up to 2010) §25

» Exceptions

In any undertaking where work is continuous and where simultaneous taking of the day of rest by all the staff would be to the prejudice of either the public or the proper working of the undertaking, the employer may grant the weekly day of rest by rotation or may divide it into 2 half-days.
Employment Act 1983 (as amended up to 2010) §25

Day specified


» General

The weekly rest shall normally fall on a Sunday.
Employment Act 1983 (as amended up to 2010) §25

» Exceptions

Another day may be fixed as the day of weekly rest:
(i) by agreement between employee and employer; or
(ii) in any trades where it is usual to take another day; or
(iii) in any undertaking where work is continuous and where simultaneous taking of the day of rest by all the staff would be to the prejudice of either the public or the proper working of the undertaking.
Employment Act 1983 (as amended up to 2010) §25

Work on weekly rest day


» Compensation (for working on a rest day)

Work performed on a Sunday shall be paid at a minimum rate equal to one-and-a-half times the normal hourly rate, where the work requires the worker to work more than 48 hours or 6 days in a week.

Employees in industries which require non-stop operations as specified in §23(2) of the Employment Act 1983 shall be granted an equivalent period of time off work on another day and may not be entitled to the penalty rates as a result. These include transport, public utility, hospitality, entertainment, health care, journalism and animal husbandry.

Further, domestic workers are not entitled to the penalty rate for working on a Sunday.
Employment Act 1983 (as amended up to 2010) §§23(2), 23(3), 26(1)(a), 26(2)

» Prohibitions and limitations

No employee shall be required to work on a Sunday, except where the employee voluntarily undertakes to do so or the employee works in one of the following undertakings:
(a) undertakings engaged in the transport of passengers or goods by road, sea or air, including the handling of passengers or goods at docks, quays, wharves, warehouses or airports;
(b) undertakings of public utility including provision of water or gas, generation or supply of electricity, postal and telecommunication services, sewerage and similar services;
(c) hotels, guest houses, bars, restaurants, clubs and similar establishments;
(d) theatres and places of public amusement;
(e) establishments for the treatment and care of the sick, infirm, destitute or mentally unfit;
(f) newspaper and radio broadcasting undertakings;
(g) animal husbandry;
(h) any other work approved, on the application of an employer, by a labour officer for the purpose of this subsection, having regard to the requirements of the proper management of the undertaking and the convenience of the public;
(i) any undertaking in which only members of the employer’s family are employed;
(j) offices in which staff is engaged in connection with the administration of public authority;
(k) persons occupying positions of management or employed in a confidential capacity;
(l) such other classes of persons as may be prescribed under §27.
Employment Act 1983 (as amended up to 2010) §§23(1), 23(2), 27

Special categories


» Domestic workers

Domestic workers are not entitled to the penalty rate for working on a Sunday.
Employment Act 1983 (as amended up to 2010) §26(2)

ANNUAL LEAVE AND PUBLIC HOLIDAYS


ANNUAL LEAVE


Qualifying period

An employee must work for an employer for at least 1 year before he or she will be entitled to take annual leave, unless the employer agrees to allow the employee to take his or her leave wholly or partly in advance. Further, if the employee’s employment is terminated before the employee acquires the annual leave entitlement, he or she will entitled to an pro-rata allowance in lieu of annual leave that would have otherwise accrued.
Employment Act 1983 (as amended up to 2010) §§29(1), 30(2), 32
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Duration


» General

Every employer shall grant to an employee who has been in continuous employment with the same employer for:
(a) a period of 1 to 6 years - annual leave on full pay at the rate of 1.25 working days per month for each year of employment; or
(b) a period of 7 to 19 years - annual leave on full pay at the rate of 1.75 working days per month for each year of employment.
Employment Act 1983 (as amended up to 2010) §29(1)

» Exceptions

The rate of the annual leave shall be increased to 3 working days after 20 years, 4 working days after 25 years and to 6 working days after 30 years service in the same undertaking, whether continuous or not.
Employment Act 1983 (as amended up to 2010) §29(2)
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Payment


» Amount

The employer shall pay to the employee during the annual leave remuneration at least equal to the employee’s average remuneration for the 12 months preceding the commencement of the leave, provided that such remuneration unless the parties otherwise agree need not include any bonuses, overtime pay, expatriation allowances or reimbursement of expenses.
Employment Act 1983 (as amended up to 2010) §31

Schedule and splitting

The date of the annual leave shall be fixed by the employer, who shall in so far as it shall be practicable in the circumstances of the undertaking, comply with the employee’s request in this respect.

The annual leave shall be taken in one period or if the employer and the employee so agree, in not more than 2 separate periods.

If the employer and the employee so agree, the annual leave or either of its parts, may be taken wholly or partly in advance before the employee has acquired entitlement thereto.
Employment Act 1983 (as amended up to 2010) §30

PUBLIC HOLIDAYS


Work on Public Holidays


» Criteria

An employee may be required to work on a public holiday where he or she voluntarily undertakes to do so, or the employee works in the any of the following:
(a) undertakings engaged in the transport of passengers or goods by road, sea or air, including the handling of passengers or goods at docks, quays, wharves, warehouses or airports;
(b) undertakings of public utility including provision of water or gas, generation or supply of electricity, postal and telecommunication services, sewerage and similar services;
(c) hotels, guest houses, bars, restaurants, clubs and similar establishments;
(d) theatres and places of public amusement;
(e) establishments for the treatment and care of the sick, infirm, destitute or mentally unfit;
(f) newspaper and radio broadcasting undertakings;
(g) animal husbandry;
(h) any other work approved, on the application of an employer, by a labour officer for the purpose of this subsection, having regard to the requirements of the proper management of the undertaking and the convenience of the public;
(i) any undertaking in which only members of the employer’s family are employed;
(j) offices in which staff is engaged in connection with the administration of public authority;
(k) persons occupying positions of management or employed in a confidential capacity;
(l) such other classes of persons as may be prescribed under §27.
Employment Act 1983 (as amended up to 2010) §§23(1), 23(2), 27

» Compensation

Work performed on a public holiday shall be paid at a minimum rate equal to one-and-a-half times the normal hourly rate, where the work requires the worker to work more than 48 hours or 6 days in a week.

Employees in industries which require non-stop operations as specified in §23(2) of the Employment Act 1983 shall be granted an equivalent period of time off work on another day and may not be entitled to the penalty rates as a result. These include transport, public utility, hospitality, entertainment, health care, journalism and animal husbandry.

Further, domestic workers are not entitled to the penalty rate for working on a public holiday.
Employment Act 1983 (as amended up to 2010) §§23(2), 23(3), 26(1)(a)

PART-TIME WORK


General provisions

No relevant provisions identified.

NIGHT WORK


Criteria for night work

No criteria for requiring workers to perform night work identified.

Limits

No limits specific to night work, except in relation to women and young workers.

Compensation

Work in excess of the normal weekly hours of work carried out at night between 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. shall be paid at a minimum rate equal to 1.75 times the normal hourly rate.

These overtime rates do not apply to the following categories of employees:
(i) night watchmen;
(ii) domestic workers;
(iii) any undertaking in which only members of the employer’s family are employed;
(iv) offices in which staff is engaged in connection with the administration of public authority;
(v) persons occupying positions of management or employed in a confidential capacity;
(vi) such other classes of persons as may be prescribed under §27.
Employment Act 1983 (as amended up to 2010) §§26(1)(c), 26(2), 27

Special categories


Young workers

Persons under the age of 18 years shall not be employed during the night in any industrial undertaking, except that, if such person is over the age of 16 years, he may be so employed subject to the written consent of a labour officer.

For the purposes of this provision, night means a period of at least 7 consecutive hours falling between 10 o’clock in the evening and 6 o’clock in the morning.
Employment Act 1983 (as amended up to 2010) §41

Women

Women shall not be employed during the hours of 7pm and 6am in any undertaking, except where the work:
(a) has to do with raw materials or materials in course of treatment which are subject to rapid deterioration;
(b) is necessitated by an emergency which it was impossible to foresee and which is not of a recurring character;
(c) is that in a responsible position of management held by a woman who is not ordinarily engaged in manual work;
(d) is that of nursing and of caring for the sick, or other health or welfare work, including work in pharmacy;
(e) is carried on in a theatre or other place of public amusement;
(f) is carried on in connection with a hotel, guest hotel, bar, restaurant, club, or similar establishment;
(g) is carried on in connection with the transport of passengers by sea or air;
(h) is carried on in connection with postal and telecommunication services or broadcasting;
(i) is authorised by the Minister by order in conformity with international conventions.

However, the Ministry may by Order suspend the prohibition of the employment of women during the night when in case of serious emergency the public interest so demands.
Employment Act 1983 (as amended up to 2010) §35

SHIFT WORK


Criteria for shift work

No provisions regulating shift work identified.

ON-CALL WORK


Criteria

No provisions regulating on-call work identified.

FLEXITIME


Criteria

No provisions regulating flexitime identified.

CASUAL WORK


General provisions

No provisions regulating casual work identified.

SHORT-TIME WORK/WORK-SHARING


General provisions

No provisions regulating short-time or work-sharing arrangements identified.

RIGHT TO CHANGE WORKING HOURS


Type of changes permitted

No employee right to change working hours identified.

INFORMATION & CONSULTATION


Information

No information obligations identified.

Consultation

No consultation requirements identified.

Results generated on: 21st December 2014 at 19:43:35.
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