In late February, CDI in collaboration with Mnet and Department of Legal Affairs (MOLISA) held a consultation workshop on Revised Labor Law.
A number of organizations and individuals have participated in the workshop, including the team in charge in drafting Revised Law, social organizations that work with laborers, businesses, lawyers, MOLISA representative, trade unions, enterprises, VCCI, universities research experts and workers. In 2018, in order to better involved in the Labor Law revision, M.net members did review relevant documents, available studies and consulted groups of laborers on draft recommendations for Revised Law such as representative organization for laborers, salary, overtime and some policies for female workers. The representative of Department of Legal Affairs stated that the Workshop is an opportunity for the parties to share their views, opinions, desires and proposals for the draft Revised Labor Code. Government representative presented legislative bases, considerations, views and ideas of the revised Labor Code as well.
With years of working experience with migrant workers, M.net member organizations have been working directly with laborers nationwide (from Ha Noi, Ho Chi Minh city, Hai Phong, Bac Ninh, Vinh Phuc, Hai Duong, to Dong Nai…). Currently, M.net is working with 78 groups of workers in different professions: workers in industrial parks and export processing zones (especially in the garment and electronics industries); construction workers, masonry, street vendors, civil waste collectors, housemaids and small sellers … During operation , M.net organizations regularly exchange and record wishes, issues of laborers’ interest as well as their needs and proposals.
At the workshop, M.net organizations, SDRC, SFCD and CDI presented their recommendations: a delegation organization for laborer, minimum wages and overtime, policies for female workers. The following 16 recommendations have been discussed, in which CDI’s recommendations focuses on minimum wage policy and overtime:
1). Establishment of a delegation organization for laborers is a neccessity.
2). Recommendations for conditions for establishment, leadership and membership for the organization.
3). Recommendations for the organization’s function, rights and duties
4). Recommendations for keeping concepts and bases for minimum wage to be based on the minimum living needs of employees and their families as current regulations.
5). Propose some adjustments to the base and method of setting minimum wage
6). Recommend to consider the multi-dimensional impact of the minimum wage: in addition to the negative impacts, a full analysis of positive impacts is needed.
7). Regulations on overtime working hours must be based on the needs of employees, in-depth studies on the health of Vietnamese employees.
8). Strengthening regulations to ensure full and satisfactory overtime payment for employees
9). When removing the maximum overtime limit by month, it is necessary to set a limit on overtime hours not exceeding 12 hours/ week
10). Increase of the overtime limit should be understood as expanding the agreement framework between the employer and the employee, not to expand the employer ‘s right to mobilize laborer to work overtime.
11). Recommendation to set specific guidance on the concept of equal value work (equal) is needed to ensure equal payment by gender
12). It is necessary to develop and issue regulations on inspection, supervision and handle of the signing labor contract for housemaides.
13). More explicit regulations on vocational training and preventive vocational training for female workers
14). More clearly defined policies on reproductive health for female workers.
15). More detailed regulations on prevention and treatment of sexual harassment
16). Defining the employers’ obligations in participating in construction of kindergartens or sharing part of the kindergarden fee for female workers
Recommendations are discussed in focused and received many comments, suggestions and conclusions from participants to ensure they better benefit for laborers.
At the workshop, laborers have a chance to directly present their ideas and views with the Revised Law draft team via their stories that touched the participants’ thought: Why cannot laborers see the sun? How can a laborer live on without working overtime till exhausted.
The workshop is expected not to be a platform for the Government, drafting committee, laborers, businesses and stakeholders to exchange ideas, views and expectations on the issues, but also a right timeline for the Revised Labor Law to be considered in a more complete and practical approach so that when in force it ensures workers’ rights, meets international standards and new generation free trade agreements.