Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and adverse impacts of the global economy, Nitori Furniture Vietnam, a Japanese-invested business operating in Quang Minh Industrial Park, Hà Nội, had to reduce its workforce by 20 per cent from more than 6,000 to 4,800. But the company has never delayed paying monthly social and health insurance premiums for its labourers.
Hà Thảo Phương, a company worker, said: “I have health insurance expenses covered and enjoy maternity benefits thanks to quick procedures supported by the human resources department.”
Japan has a concept called “lifetime employment” which means recruiting workers until they retire. Social, health and unemployment insurance play an extremely important role in retaining labourers for a long time.
Kushida Akihiro, deputy general director of Nitori Furniture, said his company started operation in 2003. His enterprise always strictly complies with Việt Nam’s legal regulations.
“The full participation in social insurance, health insurance and unemployment insurance aims to ensure workers’ benefits and create conditions for them to stay over the long term. That’s also an important requirement we have set,” he told Việt Nam News.
“We have a professional human resources department that has coordinated closely with the Hà Nội Social Security Office in paying premiums and providing benefits for employees,” he said.
The company always timely and fully updates the social insurance policies from local authorities in Việt Nam, legal consulting units and the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) business association, he said.
The Vietnam Social Security (VSS) has supported enterprises in the settlement of social insurance regimes, especially paying sickness and maternity benefits on time. There were a few cases of money transfer delay compared to the expected results. When we gave feedback, the agency promptly resolved it, he said.
During a recent dialogue between VSS and Japanese-invested firms in Việt Nam on the implementation of social and health insurance policies, VSS General Director Nguyễn Thế Mạnh said the vast majority of Japanese businesses comply with Việt Nam’s legal policies, including those on social and health insurance.
In the difficult context of the pandemic and the post-COVID-19 period, FDI enterprises, including Japanese firms, have applied many solutions to maintain production stability and retain workers, making an important contribution to Việt Nam’s socio-economic recovery and development, he said.
The VSS has so far served 2,112 Japanese businesses in Việt Nam, with 547,100 employees participating in social insurance, including more than 545,000 Vietnamese employees and 1,600 foreign ones.
In the first nine months of this year, social insurance revenue from Japanese-invested enterprises accounted for over 13 per cent of the total revenue from foreign invested enterprises operating in Việt Nam.
In order to create favourable conditions for the Japanese business community investing and doing business in Việt Nam, as well as the Vietnamese community living and working in Japan, the two countries are conducting exchange procedures, updating information and roadmaps to prepare for the negotiation of the bilateral agreement on social insurance, which will serve as a new milestone in the two countries’ relations, Mạnh said.
Japanese Ambassador to Việt Nam Yamada Takio said in 2023, the Japanese Business Association in Việt Nam has about 2,000 member companies. This is the largest overseas Japanese Business Association in ASEAN and the second largest in the world. One of the attractions for Japanese businesses is Việt Nam’s abundant labour source.
Protecting labourers’ benefits is an important factor for Việt Nam to attract foreign investment, he said.
Along with the direct investment increase from Japan into Việt Nam, Japanese companies are required to understand and well implement Việt Nam’s social insurance regulations and policies to ensure labourers’ legitimate rights and benefits. The Vietnamese Government is amending the Law on Social Insurance, which will better protect labourers’ rights and affect investment trends of Japanese firms in Việt Nam, the ambassador noted.
He hoped the Vietnamese Government would listen to the feedback of Japanese enterprises in Việt Nam on the law amendments to make the law truly reflect the wills of Japanese employees and employers.
He believed that social and health insurance policies with the aim of better protecting the rights of labourers would promote economic cooperation between the two countries.
To help Japanese people in Việt Nam better access social and health insurance policies and facilitate them in procedures, on Tuesday, the VSS launched the Japanese version of the social insurance mobile app VssID.
No change in insurance benefits
Trần Hải Nam, deputy head of Social Insurance Department, Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, said there is absolutely no change in social insurance benefits for foreign workers in Việt Nam.
“Foreign workers participating in Việt Nam’s social insurance scheme will enjoy full benefits, the same as those for Vietnamese citizens.”
“We even have more open regulations for foreign workers. For example, foreign workers who are willing to have labour contracts terminated and enjoy lump-sum payment can submit their application. We will handle the application within five days of receiving the document, shorter than the regulation for the Vietnamese, so that they will soon receive the payment before returning to their country,” he said.
Vũ Đức Thuật, deputy director of Hà Nội Social Security Office, said FDI firms have given mostly positive feedback to the office. Thanks to the two-way feedback, the two sides can perform their tasks better.
Hà Nội has nearly 800 FDI firms, about 500 of which have foreign labourers. The foreign labourers who are qualified for social insurance scheme are all ready to join, he told Việt Nam News.
He said one obstacle for foreign labourers in accessing health insurance-covered medical services is that not all facilities have translators. The office is working to address this difficulty so that foreigners having health insurance cards in Việt Nam can enjoy the best services.
Source: Vietnam News