Employers in the country, including the Government as the largest employer and businesses, are being reminded that nonpayment of Vanuatu National Provident Fund (VNPF) contributions for their employees is a serious offence.

The General Manager (GM) of VNPF, Parmod Achary gave the reminder while announcing the Board’s decision last Friday, to increase the interest rate for members by another .5% to a total of 2%.

He told Kizzy Kalsakau of 96 BuzzFM’s Vanuatu Nightly News that last year saw an increase in the number of registration of new employees of 3,500 employees who had joined VNPF and also the number of employers increased with 250 new employers registered.

“But I think the 250 is very small compared to the way Vanuatu is developing, which means that a lot of employers are avoiding payment of contributions,” said Mr. Achary.

He said their inspectors team had undergone a very specialized training, which included inspection as well as prosecution and they will be focusing from February onward. The inspectors will be all around Vanuatu and they will be going after the employers who haven’t paid the contribution and taking them to court, he added.

“We haven’t taken any employer to court under criminal action but we are now going to focus on criminal action,” he said.

“I must remind employers that it is a serious offense if you don’t pay contribution for employees. Secondly, it is further serious if you have deducted contribution and you have not paid. Violators can be liable to go to prison. I will personally look after this area and I will ensure that employees contribution due must be paid otherwise I will not hesitate to take employers to court. And this will be done without any reminders or any warning.”

The GM explained that the Government as an employer and its entities was a good performer and he identified sectors from which noncompliance was an issue as transportation, communication, tourism and agriculture.

Jonas Cullwick, a former General Manager of VBTC is now a Senior Journalist with the Daily Post. Contact: jonas@dailypost.vu. Cell # 678 5460922

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