Tuesday, May 26 2020

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ASEAN calls for support for workers affected by COVID-19

Update: May, 15/2020 - 00:00
Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Đào Ngọc Dung delivers a speech at the Special Meeting of ASEAN Labour Ministers on Response to the Impact of COVID-19 on Labour and Employment held online on Thursday. — VNA/VNS Photo 

HÀ NỘI — ASEAN labour ministers have called for measures to ensure workers’ income, jobs and safety at an online special meeting on Thursday in order to support labourers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Special Meeting of ASEAN Labour Ministers on Response to the Impact of COVID-19 on Labour and Employment was held in recognition of the widespread and profound impacts of the pandemic on the health and livelihoods of people and economies of ASEAN member countries and nations around the world.  

The ministers exchanged and shared data and information on measures and policies to cope with COVID-19 for workers, particularly issues relating to their income, employment, safety and health.

They also discussed recommendations for common response of ASEAN to COVID-19 impacts in the field of labour and employment.

The ministers adopted a joint declaration which stressed the need to implement joint efforts to promote labour and employment policies in response to impacts of pandemics, economic crisis or natural disasters in the future.

They agreed to provide support for the livelihood and health of all workers, especially those working in high-risk sectors, and safeguard their labour rights amidst the impact of COVID-19 to the economies and industries of ASEAN member countries; endeavour to provide that all workers, including migrant workers, laid off or furloughed by employers affected by the pandemic are compensated appropriately by the employers and eligible to receive social assistance or unemployment benefits from the government where appropriate, in accordance with the laws, regulations and policies of respective ASEAN member countries.

They agreed to facilitate access of all workers infected by COVID-19 to essential health care services and other relevant medical support as necessary and prevent discrimination against infected workers; provide appropriate assistance and support to ASEAN migrant workers affected by the pandemic in each other’s country or in third countries; and further strengthen the effectiveness of active labour market policies at national and regional levels, occupational safety and health standards, and social protection systems through productive and harmonious social dialogue to retain employment, reduce the vulnerabilities of at-risk workers, and improve their resilience.

They also agreed to enhance cooperation with tripartite partners, civil society, international organisations, ASEAN Dialogue Partners and other stakeholders in mutually agreed areas such as knowledge sharing, research and development technical assistance and resource mobilisation to support rapid responses and post-pandemic recovery plan; and continue sharing of best practices and lessons learnt among ASEAN member countries on measures to help at-risk workers and employers and promote their resilience.

Minister of Labour, Invalid sand Social Affairs Đào Ngọc Dung shared Việt Nam’s experience in coping with the pandemic, including the Government’s approval of the relief package worth over VNĐ62 trillion (US$2.7 billion) for around 20 million people with a focus on workers who had lost jobs and incomes and businesses affected by the pandemic. — VNS

 

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