Labour Minister vows to ensure legitimate rights of employees

(VOV) -The Government remains committed to carefully taking worker’s interests into consideration, particularly insurance for those who suffer from workplace accidents, said Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Pham Thi Hai Chuyen.

In an interview granted to a VOV reporter, Minister Chuyen affirmed that due attention would be given to workers without labour contracts. Only about one-third of Vietnamese employees sign labour contracts, therefore ensuring insurance for all workers remains a thorny task.

Following is the gist of the interview:

Reporter: The ongoing NA session is discussing the Draft Law on Occupational Safety and Hygiene, with a focus on insurance for employees facing workplace accidents. Could you talk about the implementation of the law?

Minister Chuyen: There are numerous difficulties in implementing the law when it comes into effect. Law enforcement agencies should cooperate with relevant bodies to boost information dissemination.

labour minister vows to ensure legitimate rights of employees hinh 0

Vietnam Social Insurance Agency will be in charge of general management. I believe that workers with high risk of workplace accidents will participate in insurance service. Employees will soon have opportunities to enjoy workplace accident insurance service apart from their current voluntary health insurance.

Reporter: What is the barrier against employees’ access to workplace accident insurance?

Minister Chuyen: Workplace accident insurance is only compulsory for workers having labour contract (around 34%). I hope that more employees will take part in this service when the draft law on occupational safety and hygiene is issued. The core matter is the level of workplace accident insurance fee and the benefit from this service.

Reporter:  Workplace accident insurance is a new concept in Vietnam although it has become popular in many countries. Do you think that Vietnam can learn experience from foreign countries?

Minister Chuyen: In many countries, the ratio of workers having labour contracts reaches 80-90%, so almost all employees are fully aware of labour safety and insurance. Each country has different regulations on insurance for employees.

Reporter:  Could you tell us more about workplace accident insurance for workers without labour contracts?

Minister Chuyen:  Like the healthcare insurance, when the draft law on occupational safety and hygiene comes into effect, there will be specific regulations on workplace accident insurance. Accordingly, employees are expected pay 1% of their insurance fee, while the remaining will be covered by the State budget. However, this issue remains a hot debate at the ongoing NA session.

Reporter:  Each year, workplace accidents claim about 700 lives in Vietnam. How’s the use of the country’s workplace accident insurance fund?

Minister Chuyen: There are different statistics on number of fatalities caused by workplace accidents. The current level of compensation for dead victims is rather law, and this should be adjusted in the coming time. At present, two solutions have been proposed: providing compensation for either employees or employers suffering from workplace accidents. The final solution will be decided soon by NA deputies.

Reporter:  More than 60% of employees do not have labour contracts. How can they access workplace accident insurance?

Minister Chuyen: It is essential to raise public awareness of the importance to this kind of insurance and labour safety and help workers understand more about their legitimate rights.

Reporter: Thank you.