A meeting was held in Uijeongbu city of Gyeonggi province, the Republic of Korea (RoK), on December 17 to encourage Vietnamese guest workers to return home as scheduled after their labour contracts enquire.

The event, jointly organised by the Vietnamese Embassy in the RoK, the Overseas Labour Centre under the Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs, the Uijeongbu Foreign Workers Centre and RoK Human Resource Development (HRD), attracted 300 Vietnamese workers.

According to Luong Duc Long, Deputy Director of the Overseas Labour Centre, there are 17,471 Vietnamese labourers in RoK with work contracts expiring in 2012, and 45 percent (7,900) of these people have returned home as scheduled.

The number of Vietnamese workers failing to return home on time is much higher than the 20 percent average of the 15 countries sending workers to the RoK.

As a result, the RoK Ministry of Labour and Employment did not extend the MoU to receive Vietnamese workers, and suspended Korean-language tests for Vietnamese workers. The country also temporarily stopped 12,000 Vietnamese worker dossiers to RoK employers, Long said.

In the first half of 2013, there will be 6,000 Vietnamese workers with contracts ending in the RoK.

Long called on Vietnamese guest workers to return home on time so as not to impact the export of labour between the two countries.

He also urged them to follow employment regulations and local laws.

To encourage foreign workers to return home on time, the RoK Government has offered them some preferential policies.

Since late December 2011, the Vietnamese Overseas Labour Centre has cooperated with the HRD to organise five Korean-language tests for 3,219 workers who returned home on time and wish to come back for work.

From July 2, 2012, the RoK has allowed foreign workers who return home on time to go back to RoK three months later without having to take any language tests.-VNA