|A foreign teacher at a Vietnamese school
The event was co-held by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA) and the Vietnam Social Insurance (VSI).
Addressing the workshop, VSI Deputy Director Tran Dinh Lieu said it is necessary to formulate a decree guiding the application of mandatory social security scheme to foreign citizens in Vietnam since the country has integrated deeply into the region and the world and the move is a normal international practice that complies with the International Labour Standards (ILO).
The 2014 Law on Social Insurance requires the compulsory enrollment of foreign workers in the social insurance scheme in order to ensure the equality and equal welfare for these people when working in Vietnam, Lieu noted.
However, differences in insurance premium and remuneration rates between countries alongside currency- and tax-related issues have hindered the progress of concluding the decree, he added, stressing the importance of opinions and censures from policy-makers, enforcers, employers and employees to complete the decree.
Tran Hai Nam from the MoLISA’s Department of Social Insurance cited the fact that the number of foreign workers in Vietnam was recently estimated at 84,000, almost seven times higher than 12,600 in 2004, most of them are highly skilled and have obtained work permits.
Clause 2, Article 2 of the 2014 Law on Social Insurance stipulates that employees who are a foreign citizen working in Vietnam with work permit or practice certificate/license granted by a competent Vietnamese agency shall be entitled to compulsory social insurance in compliance with the State laws.
Therefore, the MoLISA’s draft decree proposed requiring foreign workers to take part in all five social insurance programmes – pension and insurances for sickness, maternity, vocational injuries and diseases and death.
The decree should clarify those to be subject to and exempted from the mandatory insurance, said Hiroshi Karashima, President of the Japan Business Association in Vietnam.
Besides, Vietnam also needs to sign bilateral agreements with other countries to eliminate dual social insurance premiums in which a foreign worker is required to pay social security taxes to both countries.
Other attendees shared an opinion that as foreigners only work in a short-term contract in Vietnam, they should be only eligible to insurance for sickness, maternity and work-related injuries.
The decree must take into account the current taxation regulations and protection of human rights, added Lieu.