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No more contract extensions for seasonal workers

By Ezra Toara Dec 6, 2023

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Commissioner of Labour, Murielle Meltenoven, during the Pacific Labour Mobility Annual Meeting (PLMAM) 2023 at the Warwick Le Lagon Resort in November. By Ezra Toara

Seasonal workers will no longer be permitted to exceed their visa periods in Australia and New Zealand.

Commissioner of Labour, Murielle Meltenoven, said the Department of Labour (DOL) is currently in the process of implementing policy changes and directives, which have been sent and approved.

This year, a directive has been issued, disallowing contract extensions and ceasing COVID-19 visas. The DOL collaborated with the Australian government on this decision.

Commissioner Meltenoven also commented on the importance of encouraging shorter periods of time abroad for workers, promoting the idea that spending time with their families upon return is crucial. Recognising the negative social impacts of the program, particularly in terms of family separation, she mentioned the existence of a labor mobility policy with five pillars aimed at addressing these issues.

Efforts have been made to extend the program’s reach to organisations such as UNICEF, the Women’s Centre, and the Vanuatu Police Force. Currently in the early stages, this initiative is anticipated to align with their policies to guide Vanuatu’s position on the implementation of the labour mobility program, addressing its social impacts.

Source: VDP

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