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Bigger fines tipped for labour breaches

Update: February, 02/2013 - 10:52

HA NOI (VNS)— Labour violations including delays in paying employees' salaries could attract fines of VND20-50 million (US$960-2,400) under a new draft decree introduced by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA) this week.

The proposed fine is much higher than the current fines of VND2-10 million ($96-480) stipulated by Decree 47 issued three years ago.

The draft decree, currently open for public discussion, also proposes the VND20-50 million fine for those paying lower than minimum wages fixed by the Government.

This is also a considerable increase over the current fine of VND300,000 - VND30 million ($14-$1,400).

A fine of VND5-7 million is proposed for violations like cutting salaries of employees without prior notice or prior discussion with the trade union.

Cutting employees' salaries by more than 30 per cent and paying lower than the regulated overtime wages will also attract similar fines.

While not denying the importance of larger fines for labour violations, especially with regard to salary payments, some experts have questioned the draft decree's feasibility.

Nguyen Van Binh, a national project co-ordinator with the International Labour Organisation (ILO)'s office in Viet Nam, said cases of employers being fined was very low in comparison with the actual number of violations committed.

Natsu Nogami, ILO Vietnam's Technical Officer on International Labour Standards and Labour Law, said that to enforce the regulations and reduce the burden on administrative authorities in handing down sanctions, employers and employees must be made responsible for their own contractual relationships.

"The enforcement should be made through court verdicts, not through administrative sanctions," said

Nagoya, adding that it was very important that workers have the opportunity to seek redress from the court for their grievances. — VNS

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