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Vanuatu Manual Labor Costs

Rapid employment, either through contract or casual terms does not seem to be an issue in Vanuatu. There are a lot of people looking for employment and there is a strong feeling that the opportunity should prime on the process.

Casual Work: Must be less than 4 days a week, but there is no limitation in regards to employing 3 or 4 people and rotate them to stay under the threshold. The idea is to ensure flexibility as well as sharing work opportunities. Casual workers are not entitled to any employment benefit. Over this limit you can sign a ‘casual contract’

The UN could contract in country as long as there is a UN office registered in the country, which is the case in Vanuatu, so employment would not be an issue. In terms of Unions, there is only a general union which is very active and quite powerful. The Vanuatu National Workers Union (VNWU) is a ‘unions corporation’, gathering unions from different sectors. The General Manager of this union is Mr Ifron Kalakau and this union is respected and regarded as ‘a useful partner’. The working hours in Vanuatu are set at a maximum of 8 hours per day. Working on weekends is possible and there are a lot of sectors that already do this (essential services, airports, wharfs, radios, etc…). It’s is clear that time the of a disaster this would be considered as requiring flexibility. The minimum wage in Vanuatu is 26,000 Vatu/month (US$280), this is for a 44 hour week contract for 22 days per month. Here are some indicative pay wages (there are no fixed table yet in Vanuatu):

Type of labour

Local Currency



Daily general worker (unskilled casual worker)not indicatedUS$ 9not indicated
Daily general worker (semi-skilled)not indicatedUS$ 12not indicated
Skilled labournot indicatedUS$ 15 – 20not indicated


40,000 Vatu




30,000 - 35,000 Vatu




26,000 - 30,000 Vatu



Overtime: the first 4 hours of overtime per week is at a rate of 125% and the following hours in the same week (after the first 4 hours) are at the rate of 150%