US$1.2 billion relief package proposed for Vietnamese workers, businesses

A financial relief package worth nearly VND27,600 billion (US$1.2 billion) to support workers and employers affected by Covid-19 was recently proposed by the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs.
According to the General Statistics Office of Vietnam, the Covid-19 pandemic in the first quarter of 2021 caused 540,000 people to lose their jobs, 3.1 million to have their working hours cut, and 6.5 million to have reduced salary.
US$1.2 billion relief package proposed for Vietnamese workers, businesses ảnh 1 Chairwoman of the Vietnamese Fatherland Front in HCMC To Thi Bich Chau presenting gift aids to households affected by Covid-19 in April 2020. (Photo: SGGP)
The Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs therefore has proposed specific support policies to the Government as follows:
The first is to reduce the amount employers have to contribute to the labor accident and occupational disease insurance fund, part of their employees’ compulsory social insurance, expectedly by US$161 million over 12 months.
US$1.2 billion relief package proposed for Vietnamese workers, businesses ảnh 2 The HCMC Confederation of Labor presenting gift aids to unprivileged workers
Second, if an employer is affected by Covid-19 leading to a reduction of 15 percent of employees participating in social insurance or more compared to April 2021, the employees and employer are entitled to temporarily stop paying social insurance to the retirement and survivorship fund within 6 months from the time they apply for this policy. It is expected that 44,000 businesses and 1.55 million employees will be eligible for application for a total of some US$495 million.
The third is offering workers tuition fees to get vocational training over a maximum of 6 months with a total budget of US$130,677.
The fourth is a policy to support 200,000 workers whose labor contracts are suspended or those taking unpaid leave or laid off but not eligible for unemployment benefits. Each worker is to receive about US$80, and female workers pregnant or raising a child under 6 years old are to get an additional US$43.6.
The fifth policy aims to support 30,000 sole proprietorships with US$87 per month each, amounting to a total budget of about US$26 million.
The sixth is a policy to support about 42,000 child Covid-19 patients going through treatment or in concentrated quarantine. The rural Bac Ninh, Bac Giang and Dien Bien provinces are expected to get an emergency support fund of US$43,617 to cover the cost of meals and essentials for child patients of Covid-19.
US$1.2 billion relief package proposed for Vietnamese workers, businesses ảnh 3 Taking samples for Covid-19 testing at an industrial zone in Bac Giang province
Seventh, it was proposed to use the central budget to provide Bac Giang and Bac Ninh provinces each with US$21.8 million of emergency support funds for workers with reduced income and the prevention and control of Covid-19.
At the same time, the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs also proposed that the National Assembly Standing Committee support about 220,000 workers whose labor contract had to be terminated with a fund worth some US$107 million.
Along with that is a policy to let companies who had to suspend business activities due to the pandemic take out loans at preferential rates to pay workers’ salaries. It is expected to support 450,000 workers with about US$218,412.
All the relief policies above would amount to nearly US$1.2 billion.

By Manh Hoa - Translated by Tan Nghia

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