HCM City promises support for laid off workers due to COVID-19

The HCM City Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs would take whatever measures are needed in the second half of the year to safeguard workers’ incomes and jobs, which have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Le Minh Tan, its director, has promised.

HCM City, support for workers, laid off, pandemic, Nguyen Xuan Phuc
PouYuen workers in HCM City’s Binh Tan district exit the company after work (Photo: tuoitrenews.vn)
More than 327,000 workers in the city were laid off in the first half, he said. Tourism and other services were the hardest hit with some 4,400 enterprises affected and 100,000-120,000 workers laid off.

To protect workers’ rights, the department has set up working groups to support businesses and ensure employees are treated in accordance with legal provisions, he said.

“Enterprises that lay off workers must notify them 45 days in advance.”

In addition, companies must have additional support policies for more vulnerable employees such as seniors and pregnant women, he added.

“Of the nearly 2,800 PouYuen workers in Binh Tan district who have been laid off, 745 want to stay in the city. We will look for businesses in the same industry to find jobs for those workers.”

The department is working with eight companies in Go Vap district to recruit 2,222 workers who had been laid off by Hue Phong Footwear JSC in the district, he said.

The department has learnt that a Taiwanese furniture company in Cu Chi would lay off around 800 jobs soon, and is looking for wood manufacturing enterprises seeking to hire workers, he said.

It would also send workers in need of vocational training to vocational centres, he said.

According to city authorities, 90 % of 8,400 enterprises facing difficulties are eligible for the VND62 trillion (US$2.7 billion) support package of the Government and Resolution 2 of the City People’s Council. The businesses that receive the funding from these two programmes should keep their workers.

The Government has allowed businesses to suspend paying social insurance premiums for their workers, trade union funds and others until the end of the year if they retain them.

According to a survey by the HCM City Statistics Office, nearly 14,000 out of the city’s 16,300 enterprises were affected by the pandemic in the first half, with around 8,400 enterprises suspending operations and thus laying off a large number of employees.

If the pandemic continues in the second half, another 4,800-5,000 enterprises in the services, industrial and construction sectors will be affected and 160,000-180,000 more workers could lose their jobs.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc recently approved the relief package worth overVND 62 trillion to benefit around 20 million people nation-wide with a focus on workers who lost jobs and incomes and businesses affected by the pandemic.

Under Resolution 42, as of the end of June, HCM City provided financial support worth a total of VND560 billion to more than 510,000 out of a total of 542,000 people affected by the pandemic.

In March, HCM City authorities approved a support package targeting 600,000 workers and teachers at private pre-schools who lost their jobs and poor families.

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