Employers and their Responsibilities
Definition of an Employer
An Employer is a body or person (company, association, or a group of persons) with whom an Employee has entered into a contract of service or apprenticeship. It includes any body or person designated as an Employer by an order made by the Minister in consultation with the Board.
The Minister, in consultation with the Board, may specify that a body or person be declared an Employer and that those Employed by the Employer shall be declared as employees, for the purposes of the VNPF Act. This information will be printed in the Vanuatu Government official Gazette.
Registration of an Employer
An Employer employing any person(s) earning 3,000 Vatu per month or more is required to apply for registration with the Fund within seven (7) days of starting a business. To register, the Employer must use Form E that can be obtained from VNPF.
Certificate of Registration
When the Employer registers with the Fund, a registration number is given to the Employer and the Employer is issued a Certificate of Registration. The registration number must be used by the Employer on all correspondence with the Fund and in documents related to the payment of contributions.
Registration numbers issued up to December 31, 2000, consists of five digits, while those issued from 1 January 2001 are made up of six digits.
Employer having more than one Place of Business
An Employer having more than one place of business, with each place of business operating independently, may apply to have each business registered with the Fund separately. Each of these businesses must carry out all responsibilities required by an Employer including the registration of Employees and payment of contributions. Alternatively, the Employer is free to register all businesses under one Employer depending on the method in which the payroll is prepared, either at each business or at a central location.
Change of Operation
An Employer must notify the Fund of any changes in the operation of his or her business. These would include changes in location, in the number of persons employed, and in the principal activity of the business. The Fund must also be notified if the Employer intends to close his business. The Employer should obtain and complete a Change of Employer Details form to include any of the above changes, with supporting documents, and return it to the Fund.
Registration of New Employees
Every Employer must ensure that all Employees apply to register with the Fund within fourteen (14) days of employment by filling out an Employee Registration Form for Membership.
The Employer must ensure that all particulars on the Employee Registration Form for Membership is completed and submitted with a certified document of proof of date of birth (Birth Certificate, Drivers License, Passport or Marriage Certificate).
Without the proper proof of date of birth, the Employees registration form for Membership cannot be processed. It is in the Employee's best interest that a certified copy of the document indicating the date of birth be submitted. This is needed because the age factor is a requirement under the VNPF Act. It will be difficult to verify the age of the Member unless a certified copy of the document showing the date of birth is kept with the Fund.
When the new Employee is accepted as a Member of the Fund, a Certificate of Membership with a registration number will be issued. This Registration number is the employee's VNPF number used for identification while the member continues to be with the Fund.
The Certificate of Membership must be carefully kept in a safe place to be produced when requested by the Employer. The Employer will use it as proof of membership and will quote its number when completing the contribution schedule for payment to VNPF. The Fund will request the certificate when the Employee makes an application for withdrawal of money.
Note: It is the responsibility of the Employer to ensure that the new Employee registers as a Member of the Fund. The Employer is required to witness the Employee's signature (or left thumbprint), certify the accuracy of the information given in Form M, and to send the form to the Fund.
Please be aware that a Member is prohibited under the VNPF Act to alter any of the information on his or her certificate of membership.
New Employee already registered
If the new Employee has already been registered as a Member of VNPF, then that Employee does not have to apply again for registration. In this case, the Employee need only to show the employer, his or her certificate of membership (which will have the member number).
Membership of the Fund
Employees can become Members of the Funds by registering with VNPF through their Employer if their monthly earning is VT,3000 or more and if they are not exempted. There is an Application Form called the EMPLOYEE APPLICATION FORM FOR MEMBERSHIP (available in VNPF Offices or can be downloaded here) which the prospective Member should complete and forward the completed Form to VNPF Office. Once the completed form is checked and found correct, the applicant will be registered and a registration number assigned to the Member. On registration, the Member will be given a registration certificate which shows, among other information, the Registration Number of the Member. This number should be provided to the Member's employer in order to enable the Employer to quote the registration number when remitting the monthly contribution towards the Members savings.