Time to let labourers decide when they retire: expert hinh anh 1A preschool teacher and her students during a story-telling lesson in Hanoi (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Some special occupations including preschool teachers should be allowed to retire earlier than the age set in the Labour Code, said Trinh Thanh Hang, head of the department for woman affairs of the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour (VGCL).

Speaking at a workshop held in Hanoi on June 16 to consult experts and managers on a draft decree on retirement age and pension entitlements, she said preschool teaching is a special occupation that requires certain skills.

According to Hang, preschool teachers must be able to dance, sing, story-tell and understand the psychology of each child.

They had to work under pressure to meet the quality of education while ensuring the health, spirit and safety of children, she said.

The actual working hours of preschool teachers often exceed normal hours because they have to go to school early to welcome the children and come home late but they receive almost no additional salary.

With such characteristics, there will be a big gap in age between preschool teachers aged 50 and older and the children, she said.

The retirement age for male and female workers will be raised from the beginning of next year under the revised Labour Code which was approved by the National Assembly in November last year.

Under normal working conditions, the pension age will be raised from 60 for men and 55 for women at present to 62 (in 2028) and 60 (in 2035), respectively.

The retirement age will increase by three months for male and four months for female workers every year until it reaches the target.

Hang said a reduction in retirement age for preschool teachers would not only give them rights but also help rejuvenate the workforce, improving the quality of education.

Agreeing with Hang, Cu Thi Thuy, deputy head of the Department of Early childhood Education under the Ministry of Education and Training (MoET), said requirements for preschool teachers are increasing. They had to take care of children and handle unexpected situations.

Nguyen Ngoc An, Vice Chairman of the MoET’s Trade Union, said 96 percent of 10,698 people surveyed by the union agreed that preschool teachers should be allowed to retire at 55.

Hang also suggested the retirement age be reviewed towards granting rights to labourers.

If an employee wishes to continue working and their health is still ensured, they can continue working to retirement age like others in normal conditions.

She also suggested labourers working in the arts such as dancers, circus performers should also be subjected to retire early.

According to Le Van Trinh, Chairman of the Labour Safety Science and Technology Association, based on analysing issues related to the health of Vietnamese workers and their working conditions, it is unreasonable to set a maximum retirement age of five years early for those engaged in hazardous and dangerous jobs. He said the gap in retirement age was up to 15 years in some countries.

Trinh said the retirement age should be 50 for male workers in mines and offshore oil platforms to ensure their health./.