Sep 20, 2019 / 16:10

Amendments of Vietnam’s Labor Code debated

The Hanoitimes - The draft Labor Code contains several inadequacies as it would cause a hiccup in the growth of manufacturing activities, which will lead to a fall in export turnover.

Reducing regulatory working hours and introducing progressive overtime payment would impact businesses and their performance.

These are the most debated issues in consultation with the Permanent Committee of the National Assembly on the draft Labor Code and at the workshop “Draft Labour Code: Unexpected impacts on the economy” held by the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM) in Hanoi on September 18.
 
An overview of the workshop. Photo: Phuong Anh
An overview of the workshop. Photo: Phuong Anh
CIEM's Director Nguyen Dinh Cung said that the scope of the Labor Code is huge and deeply impacts the local business environment as well as the nation's economic competitiveness. 

According to some experts at the workshop, the draft Labor Code contains several inadequacies as it would cause a hiccup in the growth of manufacturing activities, which will lead to a fall in export turnover. 

At the workshop, many argued that national interests would be affected if  the the current draft of the  Labor Code is adopted.

Dr. Nguyen Thi Lan Huong, former head of the Institute of Social Labor Science, said that it should be clarified that the draft Labor Code can ensure fair and equality for workers or not.

Bui Duc Thinh, CEO of Song Hong Garment Joint Stock Company, said the regulations on the working time and the salary in enterprises are too cumbersome and  will create a lot of troubles to businesses.

A representative from the Japan Business Association noted that the current law provisions on conditions for obtaining work permits for foreigners are very strict as not all foreign workers are eligible to apply for work permits except experts and highly qualified  workers. 

He went on to say that the provisions in the draft Labor Law will have a great impact on Vietnam's investment environment, reducing Vietnam's competitiveness in the international arena.

However, the National Assembly’s Secretary General Nguyen Hanh Phuc stressed productivity and competitiveness does not have to do only with manpower but also with technological innovation. Curbing working hours, he said, would compel enterprises to improve technology.

Working overtime is dire for workers, especially women who would have no time to take care of their families. “My viewpoint is that the regulatory working hours should not be increased,” Phuc expressed.

Chairman of the Council of Nationalities of the National Assembly Ha Ngoc Chien said: “While public servants are working a maximum of 40 hours per week, laborers in private enterprises are still working 48 hours. Increasing the regulatory working hours would go against the progressive world trend.”

Vice President of Vietnam General Confederation of Labor Ngo Duy Hieu said that it is necessary to look from the perspective of corporate governance and technological innovation to raise productivity instead of increasing working hours.  

"Let the workers be lucid and healthy (because of working less hours) when coming to workplaces. Lucid and healthy workers will take better care of their sons, hence, the future of the country and the next generation's well-being," Hieu stressed.