Regulation requiring insurance for domestic help draws fire
  • | VietNamNet, | April 16, 2014 09:40 AM
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Many people have voiced objections to a newly-issued regulation requiring employers of domestic helpers to pay labour insurance.

The newly-issued Decree 27 guides the implementation of the Labour Law governing social and medical insurance for those who work as domestic help.

The regulation, which will take effect on May 25 stipulates that employers of domestic help must sign labour contracts that stipulate the salaries, living conditions, transport fees, any funding for vocational training and any other compensation.

The regulation also requires that domestic help have at least eight hours for rest, including six consecutive resting hours, along with at least one full day off per week with pay. Employers must also pay extra for overtime and work during holidays.

Domestic help would have 12 days of annual leave if they work for one consecutive year for a single employer.

Employers will also be required to pay an additional sum of money equivalent to required social and health insurance for their domestic help to facilitate them to buy insurance on their own.


Domestic workers interested in income and fair treatment

The regulation has not attracted much attention from domestic workers, as they largely lack of information.

Nguyen Thi Tham, 51, a domestic worker for a family in Hanoi, said, “I just come here to work and earn some money to prepare for my elderly years. I never thought of it as a career. I may not live until the time when I'm able to collect a pension, so the regulation doesn't mean much to me."

Many domestic workers say that they dare not ask for the required payments from their house masters but hope for good treatment. Some even fear losing their jobs if they ask for new benefits.

Meanwhile, the regulation has attracted a lot of attention from employers, many of whom oppose it.

A man named Tuan from Hanoi said that it will not be easy to implement the regulation because it depends on negotiations between two parties.

“The regulation requires us to allow our domestic help to take one full day off each week but we can’t comply to that. We had to hire domestic help to take care of our baby while we are at work. Compliance to the regulation means we would have to work while our helper is off on the weekend, and that is impossible,” he commented.

Some other people have said that they would face difficulties if their domestic help regularly took off one to two days per month to meet the requirements for annual leave. They say they cannot stop working and stay at home to take care of their children in order to work around the lives of their domestic helpers.

“I think that there should not be a fixed policy on social and medical insurance for domestic help, as they don’t care much about it and are more interested in their total monthly income. This is an issue for negotiation between the two sides involved. The regulation just sets up a sanction to prevent the abuse of domestic workers," said one woman.

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