Hanoi (VNA) - Vietnamese labourers working abroad could have work permits extended, receive support to change their jobs or enjoy unemployment allowances if meeting difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Policies support Vietnamese guest workers hinh anh 1Offering consultancy to workers who are going abroad

The COVID-19 pandemic forced many countries and territories to restrict entry and exit, thus considerably affecting labour export activities. The markets with many Vietnamese guest workers have issued support policies such as work permit extension, cash benefits, change of residence status and quarantine of returning workers, among others.

Japan assists jobless workers

In order to help foreign workers maintain their lives and jobs in Japan, the Government has issued and applied several policies during the pandemic such as providing leave, unemployment and subsistence allowances, change of residence status when apprentices are temporarily out of work, jobless or could not return home during the period.

Foreign workers who are temporarily off work or jobless will receive an aid of 6,815 – 8,330 JPY each day (equivalent to 1.5 – 1.8 million VND). Additionally, the Japanese Government decided to offer 100,000 JPY (over 21 million VND) to all citizens living in the country, including foreigners who legally registered residences at local administrative agencies as of April 27, those who are named in the basic residence registrar and have residence cards with duration of more than three months.

The Immigration Bureau of Japan allowed foreign workers whose stay expired and could not return to the homeland due to limited departure flights to change their status into short-term travellers with a maximum stay of 90 days. They are not permitted to go to work during the period.

Taiwan extends work permits

The Department of Overseas Labour under the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs has recently issued an announcement about the labour contract extension policy for workers in Taiwan who could not return home or change jobs due to the complicated developments of the pandemic.

In order to reduce the number of migrants, foreign workers in Taiwan with jobs such as offshore fishing crew members, domestic workers, or those working at key construction sites or economic development, who have yet to leave Taiwan or sign new labour contracts, could seek their employers’ permission to apply for labour licenses for the next three or six months.

To avoid disputes in the process of application, workers must sign a document confirming that they have fully understood and agreed with the terms.

During the extended time for old workers, employers are not allowed to hire new foreign employees. When the licenses expire, employers could apply for foreign worker recruitment in line with existing regulations.

Policies support Vietnamese guest workers hinh anh 2 Vietnamese workers go abroad 
 

In case the pandemic ends or subsides, workers wishing to return home before their labour extension licenses expire must terminate labour contracts so that their employers could hire new ones.

Workers on leave in home country allowed to return to RoK

The Korean Ministry of Employment and Labour (MoEL) recently issued a policy related to workers on leave in their home country.

Accordingly, workers under the Employment Permit System (EPS) programme must come to the Office of Human Resources Development Agency (HRD) in Vietnam to apply for self-quarantine confirmation paper. In order to be granted with the paper, they must contact employers, relatives and the Vietnamese Embassy to prepare for self-quarantine sites in the RoK before entering the country, then inform to the HRD Office which will make and send a list of workers to the HRD Korea for confirmation.

If quarantine sites meet requirements, the HRD Office in Vietnam will grant the papers to workers. Those without the papers could be denied boarding flights or entering the RoK, or have to make many verification procedures.

In case workers could not obtain the papers due to objective reasons such as urgent flight schedule, officers from the HRD Korea will help them verify self-quarantine sites.

They must pay about 100,000 KRW each day for concentrated quarantine services. For those meeting financial difficulties, the MoEL is considering the possibility of offering them interest-free loans to cover quarantine costs from interests of their exit due insurance and unpaid repatriation insurance.

Vietnam’s worker support policies

About support policies for guest workers who are laid off or lose jobs due to the pandemic, workers will be reimbursed charges for brokerage, service fees and allowances from the Overseas Employment Support Fund.

Brokers are responsible for repaying part of brokerage fees to workers according to the principle: those working for less than half of the contract time will receive half of the brokerage fees while those working for 50 percent of the contract time and above are not entitled to the refund.

In case it is impossible to reclaim them from brokers, employers shall reimburse them to workers according to the above principle. They will be accounted into reasonable expenses when calculating taxable income in accordance with the Law on Corporate Income Tax.

For service charges, if workers have to return home ahead of schedule due to force majeure or not their fault, employers are only allowed to collect service charges by actual time (number of months) they work.

In other objective risk cases, the Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs will consider offering a maximum aid of 5 million VND to each case. Depending on the epidemic situation, the extent and number of laborers affected, authorities will support them and enterprises when necessary./.

VNA