The government issued decree No 85/2015/ND-CP ("Decree No 85") on October 1, 2015, detailing some regulations of the Labour Code regarding policies for female employees.
PLF has summarised the main points of Decree No 85 as below:
1. Clarifying the concept of employers hiring several female employees
Under current regulations, the government shall have a tax reduction policy for employers who hire several female employees. However, the definition of such employers is yet to be clarified.
Clause 1 of Article 3, Decree No 85, introduces the concept of employers that hire many female employees, specifically as:
Employing 10 to 100 female employees, accounting for more than 50 per cent of the total labour.
Employing 100 to 1,000 female employees, accounting for more than 30 per cent of the total labour.
Employing more than 1,000 female employees.
2. Representatives of female employees
In Article 4 of Decree No. 85, the representatives of female employees in provisions related to employer's obligations in the 2012 Labour Code are construed as:
The base union, in case a labour union has been established.
The immediate superior base union if requested by the female employees, in case no union has been established. If there is no request, the employer will obtain the opinion of more than 50 per cent of the female employees at the enterprise.
3. Healthcare for female employees
Female workers are entitled to obstetric examinations during periodic health examinations, according to the obstetric care regulation[P1] issued by the health ministry.
In addition, female employees shall receive menstrual leave of 30 minutes per day and at least three days per month. The specific amount of time off is to be decided by the employees and employers as per realistic working conditions and the needs of female employees.
Female employees raising a child under 12 months are entitled to a 60-minute break each day during working hours for breastfeeding, milking, storing milk and rest.
Female workers shall nevertheless get paid according to their labour contract, despite the regulated period of time off mentioned above.
4. The right of unilateral termination and temporary suspension of the labour contract
In case an authorised health establishment confirms that continued work will negatively affect the unborn baby, the female worker has the right to:
Unilaterally terminate the labour contract:
Give prior notice, as assigned by the authorised health establishment.
The notice shall be submitted together with the request of the authorised health establishment as to how continued work would negatively affect the foetus.
Temporarily suspend the contract:
Give prior notice, as assigned by the authorised health establishment
The notice shall be submitted along with the request of the authorised health establishment as to how continued work would negatively affect the foetus.
The minimum duration of temporary suspension shall be the same as the temporary break assigned by the authorised health establishment. Without the said assignment, the duration of temporary suspension shall be decided by the two parties.
Decree No 85 shall come into effect on November 15, 2015.
This decree will replace Decree 23/CP, dated 1996, issued by the government, guiding the 2012 Labour Code on specific provisions for female workers.
PLF recommends that enterprises should promptly update and adjust company policies related to female employees (if any) under specific guidelines stated in Decree No 85, as mentioned above, to avoid any labour disputes that might occur once this decree comes into effect.
PLF - LAW FIRM