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NA deputies discuss overtime working

HÀ NỘI ­– The National Assembly Committee of Social Affairs opened its plenary session in Hà Nội on Wednesday discussing the revised Labour Code.

During the three-day meeting, the NA deputies would collecting opinions, explanations and adjustments for the revised Labour Code; and give assessments to the Government’s report on use and management of health and social insurance fund in 2019 and 2018.

The committee will also organise a meeting on explaining the implementation of independent mechanisms to public hospitals.

In Wednesday’s morning session, the deputies discussed the revised Labour Code.

The committee’s deputy chairman Bùi Sỹ Lợi said the revised Labour Code, so far, had basically completed the adjustment scope and subjects of applications.

Accordingly, the subjects of applications in the revised law are working groups without a labour relationship.

The law extends the scope of adjustments in terms of labour standards and conditions in order to ensure social welfare to the workers without labour relationships.

The revised law also defines the term “workers without labour relationships” in Clause 6, Article 3, and adds policies and State management regulations on promoting the law to worker groups in Clause 3, Article 4 and Clause 4, Article 212, Lợi said.

Referring to the maximum overtime working time frame, Lợi said the Government wanted proposals to continue to be discussed at the National Assembly despite it being turned down by the NA Standing Committee.

This gave the committee had two options to be presented in the NA meeting.

The first was to keep the maximum overtime as per the current Labour Code but increase the overtime to 40 hours instead of 30.

The second option was to increase the maximum overtime to 400 hours from 300 hours each year as per the Government plan.

The government had to also assess the impact of the overtime increase and set up payment regulations to submit to the NA.

Nguyễn Ngọc Phương, NA deputy of Quảng Bình Province said advanced technological applications had helped reducing labour force. So workers had more chances to work overtime, he said.

“If the work was heavy and hazardous, the overtime might be less. This depends on health and needs”, the deputy said.

“However in the non-hazardous sectors where the retirement age was raised, the increase of overtime was acceptable”, he argued.

The increase was not just for employers but also employees because they wanted to earn more as well, Phương said.

Meanwhile, deputy Nguyễn Quang Tuấn from Hà Nội said at present public servants had to work 40 hours a week while other labourers had to work 48 hours which was unfair.

The increase of overtime should be applied in specific circumstances and subjects, he said.

He also stressed the issue must be accompanied with provisions forcing employers to pay well.

Many deputies said reducing working hours was a progressive trend, especially in the context of increasing advanced technology and skilled workers. So the working hours should be reduced to ensure health and safety.

Increasing overtime with limited inspections and monitoring, and light sanctions to violations might lead to over exploitation of labour force by businesses

As a result, the employees would be exhausted earlier than their working age.

Some committee’s members agreed the retirement age increase but they acknowledged the complications of the issue.

In the end they agreed it was necessary to do the information dissemination to employees on their rights and plan a retirement age increase to each labour group. – VNS


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