Labour Code backs wage increase
(VNS)Wages will rise under a revised Labour Code. Bui Sy Loi, vice-chairman of the National Assembly Committee on Social Affairs, told Thoi bao Kinh te Viet Nam (Vietnam Economics Times) how living standards will improve.
The revised Labour Code will take effect next May, but what are your thoughts on the existing minimum wage?
I have to say with the existing minimum wage, a worker can only afford to cover 60 per cent of their daily expenses. Despite the meagre wage, workers still have to pay part of their income to cover social insurance. If such a system continues, sooner or later our social security system will go bankrupt. That's why it is high time for us to raise the miminum wage and to dispel the myth that anything above the "nominative" salary is a "bonus".
Under the revised Labour Code, the minimum wage earner will be able to cover the daily living requirements of themselves and their family members.
The minimum wage will be decided by a three party panel comprised of the National Wage Council, the workers' representatives and employers. The National Wage Council will then act as an advisory council to the government to adjust the minimum wage each year in accordance with inflation.
The minimum wage is set based on three core factors: the minimum requirements of the worker and their family members; the socio-economic climate and the current market rates.
As May 1, 2013 is drawing near, does the Government have any additional measures planned to ensure the new salary will provide wage earners with a better life?
The Government believes that "investment in salary is an investment in human resources and development."
With regards to the public sector, I think it's important to define the boundary between state administrative agencies and government agencies using the state budget by following the Law on Civil Servants and the Law on Public Employees. If we can define these boundaries, we'll be able to improve civil servants' salaries, while ensuring the enforcement of anti-corruption laws.
Regarding the industrial sector, workers' salaries must be based on the on-going market rate and agreements between employers and employees. Salary is a component in calculating the price of a product. In order to achieve the goal of lowering product prices, it is imperative to raise production efficiency through technical improvements, better organisation and other means.
In my opinion, for its master plan on restructuring the national economy, the government should come up with specific measures encouraging enterprises to use their employees more practically, taking into consideration their specific skills.
Do you think labour relations will be improved by the new law?
The main scope of the new law focuses on the labour contract signed between employers and employees and any issues relating to the contract, salary or collective negotiation.
Also, under the new law, judges will have the right to make final decisions on the validity of labour contracts when disputed cases cannot be resolved out of court.
Furthermore, the National Wage Council will act in an advisory capacity and indicate when the minimum salary should be adjusted.
To my knowledge, up to 95 per cent of strikes take place because workers want higher pay. Under the new law, the workers cannot go on strike unless their dispute pertains to poor working conditions, collective labour agreements, labour regulations or other legal agreements. — VNS