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Trained help for home hard to find

Update: March, 20/2015 - 11:14
A domestic helper cares for a child at a family in Ha Noi. Viet Nam is facing difficulties in applying labour standards for domestic workers. — VNS Photo Hai Ha
HA NOI (VNS) — The application of regional or international labour standards for Vietnamese domestic workers would be unlikely to work at present, despite an ASEAN model introduced by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) last month.

The Regional Model Competency Standards (RMCS) for Domestic Work was developed based on five criteria - basic communication skills, cleaning and basic housekeeping, cooking and food handling, caring for infants and children, caring for elderly people and caring for household pets and plants.

"It is hard to say whether Viet Nam is able to apply this advanced model," said Tran Thi Hong, head of the Gender Equality Division at the Institute for Family and Gender Studies.

Despite a series of decree and circulars issued by the Government and the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs nearly a year ago, no reports have been made about the number of domestic workers monitored.

Other reports on the number of labour contracts as well as whether health insurance and social insurance had been fully bought for domestic workers were also said to be "in the mist".

Meanwhile, many domestic workers showed no interest in training so that they could improve their skills.

"I don't want to take training classes as they are a waste of time and money and unnecessary as I am old already," domestic worker Nguyen Thi Thuy, 52, said.

Thuy has worked as a domestic helper for eight years and has never received any training.

For others, the difference in their wages before and after training was not enough to bother about.

"Domestic workers spend VND2-3 million (US$95-140) for training classes, but usually got no more than untrained workers. This prompted many not to come to our classes anymore," said Ha Noi-based company director Nguyen Thu Xinh from the Thu Xinh company.

Nguyen To Lien, whose family struggled for months to find a domestic worker to look after her twin granddaughters, said that she did not care if the workers were properly trained.

"Now the demand for domestic workers is very high and it is very hard to find one who is trustworthy and agrees to work for a reasonable price. We can train the helper later when she gets down to her job," Lien said. — VNS

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