Dialogue discusses employment, wages, and social insurance policies

Saturday, 2015-07-04 16:56:00
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NDO – The Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, in collaboration with the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), organised a dialogue with the business community in Hanoi on July 3 to discuss labour policy, wages and social insurance issues.

At the conference, representatives from enterprises proposed adjustments on a range of regulations on wages, social insurance, overtime working hours, union fees and policies for women workers, as well as regulations on strike and records for foreign workers.

They argued that provisions on an overtime limit of 30 hours a month and 300 hours a year in Vietnam were stricter than other countries, with Japan at 360 hours/year, Malaysia 104 hours/month, and Taiwan (China) 46 hours/month.

They suggested facilitating administrative procedures simplification and clarifying some provisions of the 2012 Labour Code.

Also on discussion, VCCI Chairman Vu Tien Loc said that VCCI would gather opinions from relevant associations on the plan to increase the minimum wage in 2016, to be negotiated at the National Salary Council’s meetings later. He revealed that the increase was expected to be at slightly over 10%.

In fact, the salary increase is still a difficult matter between businesses and workers. With the forecast of 10%, Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Pham Minh Huan, who is also Chairman of the National Salary Council, said that later this month, the Council will discuss the issue and will submit the minimum wage increase rate in 2016 to the government by October.

According to the Huan, the minimum salary increase in 2016 must be calculated from this year, as social insurance contributions would approach the total income, which means businesses will face a large expense. Additionally, other policies on female labourers, and labour safety and hygiene would also make the cost of business increase; therefore salary increase should be calculated reasonably to avoid creating difficulties for business operations.

Loc said that the adjustment to the minimum wage was a sensitive issue, laying important implications for both the employers and employees as well as on economic growth.  Adjusting the minimum wage should ensure two factors: raising incomes and improving living conditions for workers, while maintaining competitiveness of enterprises and sustainable development of the economy.

In 2015, the government approved the plan to increase the minimum wage of the National Salary Council at an average increase of about 15%.