Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Pham Minh Huan spoke to Thoi bao Kinh te Viet Nam (Viet Nam Economic Times) about the unemployment insurance fund.
How do entrepreneurs' business activities affect workers during this current time of economic hardship? Is there any chance of overspending of the unemployment insurance fund?
Viet Nam's economy has actually seen improvements with many newly invested foreign projects and other ongoing projects. A Viet Nam-based subsidiary company of Nike Corporation is an example. More than 200,000 employees from three regions are working for the company.
Yet more and more workers are accessing the unemployment insurance fund for financial support after losing their jobs. I have heard the opinion that this could lead to an overspending of the fund, but I believe that there's little chance of this happening. The fund is a short-term one, and always adjusted after one or two years. If the revenue is equal to or higher than the spending, the collection of the fund will be increased in the next year to assure balance and vice versa. In fact, the fund has seen a temporary surplus.
In the cases of bankruptcy, both enterprises and employees face hard times. The fund gives priority to employees, but many do not get the money when enterprises refuse to pay. This is a common occurrence in the country.
Could you explain the reason why this happens? What measures have the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs taken to support employees?
The 500,000 private small-scale enterprises are the main cause, as they are likely to go bankrupt in financial downturns. Workers with little knowledge of work regulations and who fail to protect themselves are another reason.
Currently, the ministry has strengthened inspections of enterprise activities regarding workers' benefits and their raised awareness about their rights.
The ministry is working with the Department of Employment to keep watch on labour market fluctuations to chalk out supportive policies for workers.
The Government is currently encouraging enterprises to create jobs for local people. The minimum salary has also been increased as a way to help employees in the inflation situation. — VNS