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HCMC demands overpaid employees repay bonuses

Update: August, 30/2013 - 10:30
The HCM City Urban Drainage Company was found to have violated the labour law by signing temporary contracts with 163 workers who had worked with the company for many years.— Photo vov

HCM CITY (VNS)— Le Hoang Quan, Chairman of the HCM City People's Committee, says his administration is determined to redress wrongdoings at four State-owned companies by recovering overpaid amounts in salaries and bonuses.

His statement, made on Wednesday, followed reports that recent inspections by his office found four companies – HCM City Urban Drainage Company, HCM City Green Park Company, Sai Gon Transport Projects Company and HCM City Public Lighting Company – were paying their leaders salaries and emoluments higher than mandated by current regulations.

The average salary for employees at the four companies was VND22 million (over US$1000) a month, as against VND7.3 million at other State-owned companies in HCM City, the reports said.

At the HCM City Urban Drainage Company, the director received VND2.6 billion ($123,000) last year, and its chief accountant was paid VND1.67 billion.

At the HCM City Green Park Company, the director's salary last year was a handsome VND757 million ($36,000).

The HCM City Urban Drainage Company and the Sai Gon Transport Projects Company were also found to have violated the current labour laws by having long-term workers sign temporary contracts, negatively affecting their rights and interests.

The HCM City Urban Drainage Company was found to have violated the labour law by signing temporary contracts with 163 workers who had worked with the company for many years.

The company also signed fixed-term contracts with 355 workers who were qualified for regular employment.

Speaking to the media, Quan said that the rights and interests of affected workers at these companies would be restored.

He ordered the city's Home Affairs Department and Disciplinary Committee to review and make clear the responsibility of company leaders in committing the labour law violations.

Self discipline

Also on Wednesday, the HCM City Green Park Company sent to the Sai Gon Giai Phong (Liberated Sai Gon) newspaper a document listing actions that the company was taking to address the wrongdoings.

It said the company would restore the rights and interest of affected workers before September 10 and reported its actions to the People's Committee by September 15.

The company will also recover the excess salary and bonuses paid to seven management members in 2011-12 by the end of September.

The managers will be required to report on their wrongdoings, identify their responsibility, take disciplinary action against themselves and initiate measures to redress their wrongdoings, the document said.

Tran Thien Ha, director of the HCM City Green Park Company, also spoke to the media that his company was carrying out the task of signing labour contracts with workers in accordance with the labour law.

The company's seven managerial staff will have to pay back more than VND1.2 billion in overpaid salaries and bonuses before September 1, he said.

Regarding the VND49.3 billion that the company is said to have paid in excess to its workers last year, Ha asked the People's Committee for an exemption in this case because it is difficult to recover money from workers.

Pham Minh Huan, Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs and chairman of the National Wage Council, said the ministry has sent a working group to HCM City to inspect the implementation of salary policies at these companies.

Under current regulations, the maximum salary that a CEO of a State-owned company can be paid is VND36 million a month. If a State-owned company does good business, its leaders can be paid an maximum additional amount of VND18 million a month, Huan said.

‘Abnormal' salaries

Government Office Minister Vu Duc Dam, at the monthly press conference on Wednesday, pushed for further investigations into what he says are "abnormally-high" salaries paid to managers at four public-service companies in HCM City.

"If the report is right, this means they violated law," Dam said.

He said the city People's Committee and ministries supervising the companies would be responsible for handling the violations, adding that the Government had asked ministries, departments and localities nationwide to review all payments at enterprises under their supervision.

In the latest move, HCM City's Department of Labour, Invalid and Social Affairs yesterday announced that they found eight other State-owned public service providers violated regulations on payment for labour.

Deputy head of the department Huynh Thanh Khiet said that the violations were detected after labour and finance departments examined State-owned public services companies in the city.

However, names of violators have yet to be made public.

Khiet said that violators usually avoid paying healthcare insurance and social insurance fees for their employees by having them sign temporary labour contracts of less than three months instead of fixed-term labour contracts.

Only workers with fixed-term labour contracts are eligible for policies, including having part of their insurance fees paid by enterprises.

The eight violators were also found to have misused worker salary funds to give managers, including directorates and chief accountants, a bonus, he said. — VNS


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