The Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs has recently issued two new circulars relating to deposit rates and labour -export contracts in an effort to protect the Vietnamese guest workers's interests when working with labour- export companies.

These two ccirculars will come into effect next month.

Under circular 21, the deposit rates are set depending on the types of jobs and the destination countries.

The highest rate is 3,000 USD for those going to work as interns in Japan or as seafarers on inshore fishing boats in the Republic of Korea.

The lowest rate is 300 USD for those heading to Malaysia, Brunei, Thailand and Laos to work in different areas.

In addition, a deposit rate of 2,000 USD has been set for any type of workers going to Australia, New Zealand, Britain, Germany, and countries in the Americas.

Another new regulation, circular 22, requires that labour-export contracts specify details, such as the exact job, name and location of the employer, the clear responsibilities of all parties, and procedures for dispute settlement.

The new rules mean that labour-export agencies will no longer be able to impose their own conditions in contracts. They will have to follow standard conditions, including one requesting them to return costs paid by workers if they fail to send them abroad.

Tran Van Tu, director of the General Confederation of Labour's policy division told the media that the new circulars would tackle unhealthy competition among agencies and " under- the-table costs" that workers often had to pay to go abroad.

"To achieve those goals, however, State authorities will need to step up inspection over labour-export companies," he said.

According to the Department of Overseas Labour, in the first 10 months of the year, Vietnam sent more than 70,250 workers overseas, amounting to 88 percent of the year's target.

There are about 170 labour-export companies operating in Vietnam.-VNA