ASIA NEWS NETWORK
WE KNOW ASIA BETTER
Vietnam labour ministry suspends 25 recruitment firms
Publication Date : 21-03-2014
The Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs has suspended the activities of 14 Vietnamese and 11 Taiwanese employment companies involved in sending Vietnamese workers to Taiwan for violation of regulations.
According to the Department of Overseas Labour (Dolab), the companies were ordered to cease operations for 20 to 60 days as penalty for imposing on workers brokerage fees higher than the amount prescribed by the government and for deducting money from their salaries or meal allowances.
The department said the move was taken so that the authorities could further investigate and impose appropriate punitive measures toward violations. Once investigations are completed, financial fines may be imposed on the violating companies.
The companies involved were asked to submit an explanatory report to account for their actions and make a declaration not to violate the rules again.
The Dolab identified the companies as Vinagimex JSC, Emico, Vietcom Human JSC, Isalco, Vinamotor, Vietracimex, Letco, Bac Giang Friendship JSC, Polimex, Simco SDA, Phutho Co, Songhong IM, VICM Jtd and Cienco 8.
A representative of the Dolab claimed that one of the challenges to the investigation and inspection work of relevant authorities was the workers' failure to cooperate as they feared that exposing the companies' ploys might affect their own rights or that they might also be punished for not reporting the malpractices.
The Dolab representative said workers wanted to work overseas at all costs, yet they were not fully prepared for the difficulties they would encounter in Taiwan.
For instance, the workers did not know how much money they will need to meet their daily expenses in Taiwan, so they just agreed to paying high brokerage fee in the hope that they would be able to pay it when they start working in Taiwan.
In November last year, the Dolab also temporarily suspended the activity of four companies involved in sending workers to Taiwan as they had cooperated with Taiwanese brokerage companies, which were found to have imposed higher fees on workers.
Dao Cong Hai, Dolab deputy director, said authorities were determined to closely monitor the activities of companies that send workers abroad to curb violations of regulations and protect the rights of Vietnamese workers overseas.
Earlier this year, the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs sent a letter to labour-export companies requesting reduction in fees imposed on Vietnamese workers who would be deployed overseas.
According to the request, as of February 1, the total costs charged to a worker in industrial fields prior to departure to Taiwan must not exceed US$4,000 for a three-year labour contract.
For Vietnamese seeking employment in hospitals and health care centres in Taiwan, such as nurses and caregivers, the costs must not exceed $3,300 for a three-year contract.
Regarding the pre-departure deposit, the ministry emphasised that the cost must not exceed $1,000, as stipulated earlier in Decree No. 21 on the ceiling deposits for guest workers.