|Workers apply for Korean tests at the Ha Noi Job Introduction Centre as part of preparations to work in South Korea. — VNA/VNS Photo Huu Viet
SEOUL (VNS) — Illegal Vietnamese workers abroad, particularly in the Republic of Korea (RoK), will not face any penalties if they voluntarily return home between September 1 and December 31 this year.
Director of the Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs Ministry's Overseas Workers Centre Pham Van Minh said, "The exemption from administrative fines for illegal workers who return home voluntarily is a prompt policy of the Vietnamese government, which aims to reduce the proportion of illegal Vietnamese employees abroad, and in the RoK in particular." He was speaking at a meeting with Vietnamese guest workers whose contracts were about to expire in Bucheon City, Gyeonggi Province.
Under Decree 95/2013/ND-CP about administrative fines on labour, social insurance and labour export, illegal workers who return either of their own accord or are deported will be fined VND80 million to VND100 million (US$3,520-4,400), and will also be banned from working overseas for two to five years.
Minh said relevant agencies were creating favourable conditions for workers who return voluntarily to get a chance to return to the RoK to work legally.
The Overseas Workers Centre has coordinated with occupation services centres in cities and provinces where RoK businesses are investing to introduce jobs for returning guest workers, voluntarily or otherwise, he added.
Vietnamese Ambassador to the RoK Pham Huu Chi said returning home on time would benefit the workers and allow tens of thousands of domestic employees to continue to work in the RoK.
Director of the Korean Human Resources Development Agency in Gyeonggi province Chue Byong-gi said relevant RoK agencies were actively supporting procedures for the return of illegal migrant workers and intensifying measures to trace those who do not willingly return home.
According to a special memorandum of understanding (MoU) outlining the orientation for receiving Vietnamese guest workers under the employment permit system (EPS) programme signed between Viet Nam and the RoK in April, if the ratio of Vietnamese illegal workers in the RoK falls below 28 per cent by the end of this year, the RoK's ministry of employment and labour will renew the MoU on receiving Vietnamese workers in the RoK under the EPS programme.
According to the RoK's statistics, there are about 226,000 foreigners illegally living in that country, including 26,340 Vietnamese.
Under the EPS, there are almost 15,680 illegal Vietnamese workers in the RoK. The ratio of illegal Vietnamese workers in the RoK in the first five months this year was 44.4 per cent. The average ratio last year was 40.38 per cent, and 44.15 per cent in 2013. — VNS