Government takes care of people in need as Tết draws near

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Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Đào Ngọc Dung talks to Sài Gòn Giải Phóng (Liberated Sài Gòn) newspaper about Tết bonuses for workers under the impact of COVID-19.

What policies does the State have to take care of and support policy beneficiaries and workers, as well as people throughout the country to welcome Tết?

Implementing the instructions of the Party Central Secretariat and the Prime Minister on organising the celebration of the New Year’s Day 2021 and strengthening the prevention of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs has issued Directive 01 requesting localities to review the lives of families of people who contributed to the country’s revolution, the poor, the elderly, the disabled, and children in special circumstances; people in areas damaged by natural disasters, epidemics, remote, disadvantaged, border and island areas; workers in industrial parks and export processing zones in order to plan and deploy supportive activities.

On the issue of occupational safety and health, the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs requested the Department of Labour Safety, Department of Employment, Department of Industrial Relations and Wage, and Department of Overseas Labour to coordinate, guide provinces and centrally-run cities to strengthen inspection and implementation of labour safety measures; proactively implement measures to prevent and handle labour disputes that may occur during the New Year period. At the same time, these agencies are asked to monitor the situation in industrial zones and export processing zones (especially in localities with large numbers of workers); pay attention to supporting employees whose income is reduced, lost or underemployed due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Specifically, what is the level of support for people with meritorious services to the revolution, policy beneficiaries, and the poor this year?

Up to now, localities have developed plans to implement Tết support activities for policy beneficiaries and employees with various and diversified forms, spending a sizeable budget to visit and give gifts to people with meritorious service, the elderly, the poor, social protection and workers. According to a quick report from localities, the total funding for this occasion in provinces and cities is nearly VNĐ2.6 trillion (US$113 million). In which, some localities have large spending rates such as: HCM City with VNĐ813 billion, Hà Nội with VNĐ371.3 billion, Nghệ An with VNĐ146.5 billion and Thanh Hoá with VNĐ138.8 billion.

In the field of people with meritorious service, the State President has issued Decision No. 07/QĐ-CTN dated January 1, 2021 on giving gifts to those who contributed to the revolution on the occasion of the New Year, with two levels: VNĐ600,000 and VNĐ300,000. Along with the gifts of the President, localities have actively deducted the budgets of the provinces and cities and mobilised sources to give gifts to policy beneficiaries and workers on the occasion of New Year’s Eve. Provinces spend a large amount of funds for people with meritorious services such as HCM City with VNĐ383 billion, Hà Nội with VNĐ106 billion, Quảng Nam with VNĐ90 billion, Thái Bình with VNĐ86 billion, and Thanh Hoa with almost VNĐ 60 billion.

How does COVID-19 affect employees’ salaries and Tết bonuses this year?

According to reports from 63 provinces and centrally-run cities, the average salary in 2020 in the enterprise sector is estimated at VNĐ7.54 million, a decrease of about 3 per cent compared to 2019. In 2021, about 45 per cent of the total 62,640 enterprises reported that the average bonus this year is VNĐ2.34 million per person, an increase of 151 per cent compared to 2020. And about 55 per cent of the total 62,640 enterprises report on the bonus plan of the 2021 Tết holiday show that the average bonus is almost equal to one month’s average salary (VNĐ6.36 million per person), equal to 95 per cent of the bonus in 2020.

The pandemic does impact labourers’ incomes, however, most enterprises that maintain employment for their workers have been able to maintain bonuses for the Tết holiday. Some hard-hit enterprises have managed to have a certain amount of Tết bonus for their workers. — VNS

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