Concerted measures needed to address job crisis caused by COVID-19 hinh anh 1Candidates attend online interviews at the Hanoi Recruitment Centre (Photo: VietnamPlus)


Hanoi (VNA) – The fight against COVID-19 is projected to last for a while and it is time to take concerted measures in a bid to mitigate the negative impact of the epidemic on local businesses.

Amid the current crisis, experts noted that timely measures are needed to ease the negative impact. Urgent aid measures must be carried out synchronously between expanding social welfare and retaining jobs for labourers.

Proposing support policies

To ease difficulties for firms and labourers, the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA) has devised a project with six groups of policies to submit to the Government, including measures on social security, unemployment insurance, support for firms to pay salary for workers, credit assistance, and postponement of labour federation’s fee in each period.

At present, at least 50 percent of the workers having joined social security are forced to leave their jobs permanently or temporarily, while businesses are losing half of their total revenues due to the pandemic. They are permitted to halt premium payment.

Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Dao Ngoc Dung said that the ministry will continue to propose that the Government and the National Assembly’s Standing Committee consider more people eligible for support amid COVID-19.

The laid-off will be exempted from paying part of social security premiums. The delay is forecast to last from March to the end of this year. About 1.5 - 3 million workers and up to 200,000 companies will be beneficiaries.

[Millions of labourers affected by COVID-19 pandemic]

In addition, the ministry proposed suspending the payment of unemployment insurance premiums. All firms and workers will be entitled to delay this kind of insurance for two months until the end of December. They will pay afterward without the overdue interest.

Moreover, the ministry put forward policies on training for workers to improve their skills in order to maintain their jobs.

It will help workers borrow preferential loans, with priority given to those in ethnic groups, in rural areas and non-traditional ones in urban areas.

The aid targets about 350,000 workers with an average loan of 30 million VND per person and 20,000 business establishments.

Furthermore, the MoLISA proposed helping firms borrow money to pay salary for workers whose jobs are temporary suspended.

Mitigating negative impact

Social welfare and unemployment insurance policies serve as an important platform to help workers weather the difficult time.

Concerted measures needed to address job crisis caused by COVID-19 hinh anh 2(Photo: VNA)

Vice Chairman of the National Assembly’s Committee for Social Affairs Bui Sy Loi said the first problem for firms having joined social security and unemployment insurance is to pay salary for workers and provide training for them. In case they do not receive allowances, the sum will be used to help them learn skills and seek new jobs.

Loi said that after COVID-19, many restaurants and hotels will have yet to recover, so they could not maintain the current number of workers. Measures to support the laid-off and training for them are needed to keep them from falling into unemployment.

“We have learned our lesson from the time with SARS. Preparations for human resources meeting requirements during epidemic are of great importance. Human resources development strategy is not only short-term but also a long-term until the disease is repelled,” he said.

Country Director of the International Labour Organisation Vietnam Chang-Hee Lee affirmed that Vietnam has done well in curbing the spread of COVID-19. The determination has been reflected through messages of the Prime Minister stating that the Government is willing to protect people’s lives and health at the cost of economic losses.

He forecast that the fight against COVID-19 may last for a while and time has come to take actions easing the negative impact of the virus to firms, employment and income of most of the labourers, including in the non-traditional economic sector.

This month, the number of people losing their jobs doubled from the same period last year, with various obstacles lying ahead. The Government is working on incentives to mitigate the negative impact of COVID-19.

As the pandemic is to create major changes in the labour market, workers are advised to take advantage of those incentives to stand ready for meeting job requirements in the coming time./.