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Mar 25, 2022 / 20:53

Vietnam's social insurance law revision should provide workers with stronger protection

Workers voiced their views during consultations on the law reform organized by the ILO and the Vietnam General Confederation of Labor.

Increased protection for workers must be a key element of the ongoing reform of the 2014 Social Insurance Law of Vietnam. 

This was the main conclusion from a series of consultations between the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the representatives of workers of several central and southern provinces on the law revision from March 11 to 25.

 Vietnam's social insurance law revision should provide workers with stronger protection. ILO Photo: Viet Thanh

These consultations were an opportunity for the ILO to hear and discuss the concerns and priorities of its constituents (Government, workers’, and employers’ organizations) on social insurance, as well as share technical insights into some of the policy reforms under consideration by the Government of Vietnam.

The consultations culminated in a workshop in Ho Chi Minh City on March 25, where the ILO and the Viet Nam General Confederation of Labour (VGCL) exchanged views about the future of the country’s social protection.

Addressing the workshop, Le Dinh Quang, Deputy Head of VGCL’s Policy and Law Department, emphasized that “the amendment to the upcoming Social Insurance Law should be conducted synchronously, comprehensively and in a "package" approach”.

“The social insurance system should be improved towards a “flexible, diverse, multi-tiered, modern, and integrated social protection system based on international labor standards,” he said. “At the same time, the social insurance reform should be undertaken according to the principles of balance between contributions and benefits, fairness, equality, sharing, and sustainability."

During the workshop, the ILO underlined that, for Vietnam to be able to meet the targets set forth by Party Resolution No. 28, it must continue to emphasize creating a true multi-tiered social protection system, with increased alignment and integration between its contributory (financed by workers’ and employers’ Social Insurance contributions) and non-contributory components (financed by the State budget). 

Only such efforts will enable the Southeast Asian country to provide social protection to the large groups of the population who currently cannot benefit from any social protection programs, in particular, informal workers in the so-called missing middle.

 Delegates attend the event on March 25. Photo: ILO

“Reaching these goals will require not only strong social dialogue and political will but also a significant increase in the Government’s investment in social protection,” said André Gama, ILO Vietnam’s Social Protection Programme Manager.

“This investment should be seen not only as indispensable to ensure support to those in need, but also as a key, sustainable and inclusive engine for economic growth for Vietnam following the Cvoid-19 pandemic, by enabling Vietnam to focus its financial resources on its most valuable asset - its people,” he stressed.

Closing the workshop, the ILO and VGCL agreed to continue their collaboration during the revision of the Social Insurance Law to guarantee that the new law results from a strong social dialogue and tripartite consultation process, which takes workers’ needs and priorities into consideration.