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VietNamNews

Firms complain labour laws in need of clarity

Update: December, 08/2014 - 08:05

Miki Yasufumi, a lawyer at VILAF International Law firm and Anderson More and Tomotsune Japan Law Firm, said a company with a workers' union had to contribute 2 per cent of salaries to the Trade Union Fund. Companies without one have to pay to the "Upper Trade Union" but "we do not know how, where, and when to pay," . — VNA/VNS Photo

HCM CITY (VNS) — The Labour Code and Trade Union Law are vague, making it hard for businesses to comply with them, a seminar held in HCM City last Thursday to provide updates on the two laws heard.

Miki Yasufumi, a lawyer at VILAF International Law firm and Anderson More and Tomotsune Japan Law Firm, said a company with a workers' union had to contribute 2 per cent of salaries to the Trade Union Fund.

Companies without one have to pay to the "Upper Trade Union" but "we do not know how, where, and when to pay," he said.

Business executives complained that provisions on overtime wages for night shifts were unclear, resulting in various interpretations and uneven implementation.

The Labour Code states that a "worker who works at night shall receive a wage as per regulations on overtime pay and wages for night shift plus 20 per cent of the wage as per wage unit or of the wages for daytime job."

But the rationale for adding the 20 per cent was unclear, they said.

Ho Xuan Dung, deputy general director, legal, at Windsor Management Corporation, said the law stipulated that if someone works overtime many days in a month, "the employer must arrange for compensatory leave for the employee."

"Businesses want to know clearly about the overtime rate if compensatory leave is given and if it is not, and if compensatory leave is mandatory even if overtime payment is made," he said.

Some delegates complained about the inconsistencies in regulations on foreign employees and the cumbersome procedures in applying for work permits.

They asked why the validity of work permits for foreign workers is reduced to two years from three while their labour contracts have the maximum term of 36 months.

Veera Maenpaa, a lawyer and senior associate at PwC Legal, said regulations changed too quickly, making it very hard for foreign companies to keep track.

They needed to be more stable as well as transparent, she said.

Nguyen Thi Dan, head of the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) office in HCM City, pointed out one more irritant for companies.

The Labour Code requires employers to discuss workers' salary scales with the trade union and publicise them at the workplace.

"But there are no unions at many companies, making it difficult for employers to comply with this provision, while disclosing wage levels causes resentment," she explained.

Mai Duc Chinh, vice president of the Viet Nam General Confederation of Labour, complained about companies, saying many employers had little awareness of the Trade Union and did not consider it a partner. So they did not create conditions for grassroots trade union committees to perform their work, he said.— VNS

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