Qualification Criteria for Employment Stabilization Payment COVID – 19

The Ministry of Finance and Economic Management wish to inform all business sectors nationwide, that the Government has now established its policy directions in light of the COVID -19 pandemic, to confirm which business sectors are eligible to benefit directly from the announced Economic Stimulus package (ESP), which sectors are partly qualified and which ones are not qualified.

On the outset the Ministry through its dedicated ESP Team is mandated to assess all applications based on these criteria to confirm their eligibility. So for business sectors who are partly qualified, further assessment and verifications will still have to be carried before a final determination is made. Such policy assessments are necessary to ensure that the Stimulus Package is rolled out efficiently and effectively and that it reaches those mostly affected. Business community are therefore urged to consider assessing their financial capability before making a final decision to seek assistance from the government through the stimulus package.

The government still maintains the initial policy direction that not every business sectors will directly qualified to benefit from the Employment Stabilization Payments. While some sectors are badly or indirectly affected, others are benefitting from the situation and continue to operate with minimum negative impacts. It is of these very reasons that the Government has agreed that such policy determinations must be made.

The government in its decision NO#16 of 2020 has also announced other stimulus packages that will be implemented separately from the Employment Stabilization Payment Package. This includes the School Tuition fee subsidy (Education Sector), the Small and Medium Enterprise grant package (SMEs), the Commodity subsidy (Agriculture Sector) and the Shipping Subsidy (Shipping Sector). Thus at some point, business communities could still directly or indirectly benefit from the stimulus package even if they are not qualified for the Employment Stabilization payment package.

Having made mentioned of the above, as Minister responsible for Finance and Economic Management, “I call for the support of the entire business community to take responsible decisions as well to support their employees. The Government is fully cognizant that there had been good years where businesses had made profits and now given the situation we are all faced with, it is time for the business community to show leadership and take social responsibility and assist workers where they can. It’s inappropriate to use people during good times and leave them to struggle during difficult times. For those who have paid insurances over the years, it’s also important for those insurance companies to step in and shoulder some of the burdens whether it’s debt of customers to the banks or assist in other ways they can. I also would like to urge the private sectors to ensure that their workers employment is safeguarded until the situation improves and follow employment laws and procedures. The Government will deal with any employer who uses the situation to unfairly dismiss or disregards whatever is due to the workers. I call on the support of all financial Institutions such as the Banking and Insurance sector to work in partnership with the government in providing any possible support to those who are directly affected. I am glad that some Banks like the NBV and perhaps others are taking responsible decisions as well to protect its clients. This is not an ordinary period for any Government but I am confident we will make it through this turbulent period.”

Attached to this press statement is the full list of the Government Business License category and their eligibility confirmation. Business Sectors who require further clarification could contact the Ministry through, the following addresses.

This information will also be made available to Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce and Industry so they can assist in providing further explanations when needed. They can be contact through

Yours Sincerely,

Honourable, Johnny Koanapo Rasou

Minister of Finance and Economic Management

Government of the Republic of Vanuatu

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