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Vietnam's minimum wage not enough

Publication Date : 30-07-2014

 

The current minimum wage meets barely 75 per cent of the minimum living standard, said Nguyen Tien Dang, head of the Salary Department under the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA), at a labour conference in Ha Noi yesterday.

Wage negotiation mechanisms remained limited, so many enterprises forced their staff to accept low pay, Dang said. Moreover, the separation of wages by region led to confusion for areas on the border between regions, making implementation difficult.

The minimum wage currently ranges from 1.9-2.7 million dong (over US$90-$130).

However, Dang said the National Salary Committee aimed to raise the minimum wage gradually until it met the minimum living standard of workers while remaining within enterprises' payment capacity. The authorities also supported the signing of collective labour agreements in some industries so that minimum wages for those industries could be set, a mechanism that has already been piloted by the textile and rubber industries.

He also recommended that regulations dictating hourly and daily minimum wages be put in place to protect those engaging in part-time work.

Mai Duc Thien, deputy director of MoLISA's Legal Department, reminded participants that the Labour Code already set out basic minimum wage regulations.

Specifically, the code stipulated that minimum wage negotiations must include representatives of the Government as well as employers and employees and that wages should be sufficient to meet the minimum living standard.

State officials said that a Law on Minimum Wage would be added to the law development agenda of the National Assembly in 2016.

 

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