|Experts and labour representatives concern over the lack of guidelines to implement international labour safety and health standards on a national scale. — Illustrative image/ File Photo
HA NOI (VNS) — Standards and procedures to ensure labour safety and health were often overlooked in about 65 per cent of the country's small-to-medium sized businesses.
This was among top concerns raised by labour experts at a conference on Wednesday to discuss the implementation of international labour safety and health standards in Viet Nam. The meeting was organised by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) and Better Work, an international programme to promote workers' rights.
Bui Duc Nhuong, deputy head of MOLISA's Department of Labour Safety, said the implementation of international labour safety and health standards was mandatory as part of many requirements set out in trade agreements that Viet Nam had signed or was currently negotiating.
He said it was important that the country followed these standards to improve workers' productivity and the nation's social security system.
MOLISA is working on the Viet Nam Draft Law on Occupational Safety and Health, which is based on international practices fine-tuned for Việt Nam conditions.
Better Work Viet Nam's enterprise adviser, Pham Thi Hoang Lien, said that better working conditions not only benefited workers but also businesses as it would speed up global integration, secure access to additional markets and minimise the risk of goods being discriminated against in foreign countries due to unfair labour practices.
The most important benefit, however, would be the improved quality of the labour force, which is considered the most important resource for international competition, Lien said.
Experts and labour representatives also voiced concern over the lack of guidelines to implement international labour safety and health standards on a national scale.
They also highlighted numerous shortcomings and limitations in the country's occupational accident insurance policy, which was said to only focus on compensating workers for work accidents when it should help prevent them from happening. — VNS