Gov't to ensure a happy Tet for poor

The Party and State will do their best to ensure a sufficient Tet for every Vietnamese person, especially poor people and those who have rendered great service to the nation, said Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Pham Thi Hai Chuyen.

The official spoke on the ‘People Ask, Minister Answers' television programme on VTV1 on Sunday about Government policies on bonuses for workers as Tet (Lunar New Year) approaches.

Viet Nam's GDP growth for the year 2015 is higher than that of previous years with its stable industrial production value and stable workers' wages so many employers will give higher new year bonuses for Tet. Over 80 per cent of enterprises across the country are reported to have offered bonuses to their workers while the rest have yet to plan Tet bonuses.

The Lunar New Year festival bonus is expected to increase 15.7 per cent from last year, averaging VND5.7 million (USVND5,678,170) per worker, she said.

When asked why the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs doesn't have a regulation on providing Tet bonuses for workers, Chuyen said, "Bonuses for employees during the Lunar New Year was not included in the Labour Code."

The terms of a bonus is decided by employers and it was stated in their labour contracts. The bonus terms will be declared after talks with the trade union. Many labour contracts do not state bonuses because a lot of enterprises are incapable of offering them.

Chuyen said enterprises should give a bonus to their workers.

Bonuses were considered great encouragement for workers and that would make them faithful to their employers, she said.

Because the majority of employees have low income, they want to have a bonus especially for Tet so they can take care of their families.

Due to financial difficulties, some enterprises had to give the new year bonus to their employees with products from their own enterprises. However, it was regarded as an encouragement not a bonus, she said.

The government has asked local authorities to ensure a warm and cosy Tet for people who made significant contributions to the national revolutionary cause and poor households.

Under a decision signed by the President on January 1, the beneficiaries, including Vietnamese heroic mothers, war invalids, and fallen soldiers' family members as well as those exposed to toxic chemicals during war, will receive gift packages, each worth between VND200,000 (USVND178,840) and VND400,000 (USVND397,919).

Meanwhile, low-come households will benefit from rice or financial assistance contingent on their specific circumstances, Chuyen said.

The Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs asked localities to prepare a list of eligible beneficiaries and mobilise businesses and private donors to join in this effort.

The ministry has so far received requests to grant 12,000 tonnes of rice to nearly 815,000 households in 11 cities and provinces, she said.

Localities that are provided rice aid for Tet must conduct regular inspections to ensure fair distribution and the distribution must be finished five days before the Lunar New Year, Chuyen said.


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