Vanuatu - 3.4 Manual Labour Costs

Manual Labour 

There are two main categories of employment contracts in Vanuatu: 

  • Fixed term contracts – definite start and end date; and 

  • Open-ended contracts – start date but no set end date. 

Although employers in Vanuatu often refer to full time, part-time and casual employees, Vanuatu’s law does not define these terms and benefits such as paid leave and severance allowance are only available to employees in continuous employment. 

Find below the normal working hours. 

  • Normal maximum working hours a week: 44 hours per week 

  • Maximum working hours a day: 8 hours per day excluding break times 

  • Maximum number of days a week to work: 6 days 

If the employee is required to work extra hours, e.g. during an emergency response, the total hours worked must not exceed 56 hours per week. 

The key national legislation for employment and labour in Vanuatu is the Employment Act. The key legislation for wages is the Minimum Wages and Minimum Wages Board Act. In 2023, the Government of Vanuatu, employers’ and workers’ organisations and civil society are working together on the development of a National Employment Policy to address issues such as skills development, labour market information and analysis systems and social protection. 

The Vanuatu Council of Trade Unions (VCTU) is the sole national trade union center, and it is affiliated to the International Trade Union Confederation. The VCTU is active. 

Volunteers are usually engaged during an emergency response to work at the storage and distribution sites. 

Labour Rate(s) Overview 


(Local Currency & USD - $) 

Rate as of MMM YY 

Daily General Worker (Unskilled casual labour) 

VUV 300 (US$ 2.48) 

Jun 23 


Daily General Worker (Semi-skilled labour) 

VUV 300 (US$ 2.48) 

Jun 23 

Skilled Worker 

VUV 300 (US$ 2.48) 

Jun 23 


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