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Viet Nam: Big Changes Expected in Draft Amendment to Labor Code
Source: vietnamnet.vn
Source Date: Thursday, June 24, 2010
Focus: Citizen Engagement
Country: Viet Nam
Created: Jun 28, 2010

VietNamNet Bridge – A draft of the revised labor code due to be submitted for the National Assembly’s approval in 2011 will make deep and comprehensive changes to labor usage and management, said Dang Duc San, director of legal department under the Ministry of Labor.

"Vietnam’s labor law has been amended three times, but in the next time, more comprehensive and deeper reform is expected in the new context when the country achieves certain progress in economy and integration into the global community," San told on Tuesday’s labor updates seminar held by Hong Kong Business Association in Vietnam.

He explained there had appeared changes to the labor force, as the majority of laborers now work in private and FDI companies rather than State companies. Besides, it is necessary to have a more suitable legal framework for improving the labor force quality with skilled and professional workers.

San said both employers’ and employees’ rights would be better guaranteed with the revised law.

Accordingly, administration procedures will be simplified compared to the current labor law. For example, the labor contract is expected not to be required in the probationary period; or there’s no obliged ratio of employing disabled workers in a company.

"I expect the revised labor code will get the burden off employers’ shoulders," said the official who is an active member of labor law reform.

Very new and big changes are also expected in wages, working hours, gender equality, labor dispute and strike resolutions. In detail, strikes will be considered a last resort if there’s no other choice, as the expected revised law will require dialogues, negotiations, and reconciliation before strikes and lawsuits.

"This is the first time Vietnam makes such comprehensive reforms in the labor law, so there’re many opinions and matters about the revision that is of interest to FDI companies, including employment, trade unions, strikes and disciplines," said Nguyen Thuy Hang, attorney at law in Baker & McKenzie.

The draft is expected to be submitted to the national law-making body in 2011 instead of 2010 as previously scheduled. According to San, the Government’s draft fails to meet the country’s new requirements, resulting in the postponement.
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