Employer and Decent Work Place
Vanuatu joined the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in 2003. This UN agency works on a “tripartite” basis, with employers, employees and the government working together to further labour market development. As a member of the ILO Vanuatu has made a commitment to its values. As employer partners in Vanuatu’s tripartite labour market development the VCCI is also committed to promoting these values.
In 1999 the Director General of the ILO said:
The primary goal of the ILO today is to promote opportunities for women and men to obtain decent and productive work, in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity… The goal is not just the creation of jobs, but the creation of jobs of acceptable quality.
One of the cornerstones of decent work is upholding fundamental rights at work. These rights are:
- freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining;
- the elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labour;
- the effective abolition of child labour; and
- the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.
Vanuatu has joined 7 of the 8 fundamental ILO Conventions that protect these fundamental rights. Even if Vanuatu’s law does not fully cover all of these areas, all good employers should be particularly careful to make sure that:
- employees can join trade unions and participate in trade union activities if they want to
- employees are never forced into involuntary work
- children are not exploited
- there is no discrimination in hiring processes, promotion opportunities or the distribution of work activities
More generally a good employer should always try to ensure that conditions of work don’t only comply with the law, but also provide for a safe and healthy workplace where employees feel valued and are encouraged to work as productively as possible.