Mrs Murielle Meltonoven Labour Commissioner

Labour Commissioner Murielle Meltenoven

The new Labour Commissioner, Ms Murielle Meltenoven, has reassured the people of Vanuatu and Government that no corruption will be tolerated in her office.

She told Kizzy Kalsakau from 96 Buzz FM that any Labour officers conducting themselves in an improper manner will face disciplinary measures under the Public Service Act. 

Meltenoven says she will not hesitate to discipline any officers that have been conducting themselves in such improper manner.

“I want to regain the confidence of the people that we are here to assist people with employment issues and we are here to defend the welfare of the people to make sure they get access to the entitlements that the Labour laws provide for.

“I will try my best to make sure all the staff comply with the generally accepted behavior, the provisions of the Public Service Act and the ILO (International Labour Organization) standards,” she said.

Ms Meltenoven is the first female to take up the post of Labour Commissioner. 

She is one of the seven female directors appointed recently by the Public Service Commission.

The Commissioner said a retreat will be held next week to discuss and plan to conduct compliance checks in relation to the labour laws that her office implements.

In terms of seasonal work under the Recognized Seasonal Employer scheme in New Zealand, Seasonal Workers Programme and Pacific Labour Scheme in Australia, the Commissioner says she wants to see a proper mechanism in place to address the behavior and conduct of workers.

“For the RSE and SWP I must admit that at the moment the department does not possess all the complaints against the workers," she said.

“How we can generate complaints, how we can address the discipline procedure for a worker that has been misbehaving in the scheme.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been engaging a consultant to draft a labour mobility policy framework.

“The policy will shape the future of Vanuatu in the labour mobility.

“The policy will provide recommendations on how we want to see Vanuatu in the next 10 to 15 years in labour mobility."

This includes assistance to workers on how to invest their income when they return to Vanuatu.

She said a code of conduct for seasonal workers will be worked on for them to sign before they go overseas.

The Commissioner said the seasonal work programmes have brought good returns for Vanuatu as latest figures show Vanuatu gaining around Vt2 billion according to figures for 2016 to 2018.

In terms of Pacific Labour Scheme, Ms Meltenoven revealed that employers from Hayman Island Resort in Australia are currently in Vanuatu to interview and recruit ni-Vanuatu workers.

So far 11 workers have been short-listed and expected to travel to Australia soon.

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