HA NOI (VNS) — Up to half of the 300,000 businesses currently operating failed to pay social insurance premiums for their workers, according to the Viet Nam Social Insurance Collection Board.
Head of the board Tran Dinh Lieu said at a press briefing on Monday that the number of enterprises owing social insurance premiums was continually increasing and that the debt amounted to thousands of billions of dong.
Many employers did not sign long-term contracts or signed agreements less than three months in duration so that they could save money by not paying social insurance premiums.
Under current regulations, the maximum administrative fine for such violators is only VND30 million (US$1,430), while insurance premiums can total billions of dong.
Enterprises who fail to make social insurance payments are subject to criminal prosecution.
Last year, social insurance agencies nationwide filed lawsuits against more than 1,800 enterprises with social insurance debt of more than 13 months.
However, Lieu said social insurance agencies had discovered many violations that they were not authorised to punish.
In order to better protect workers, he suggested adding a supplement to the Law on Social Insurance allowing social insurance agencies to inspect and punish businesses that failed to pay social insurance premiums.
Only 11 million workers have registered to join the compulsory social insurance scheme, accounting for 69 per cent of the total employed population. — VNS