Stricter fines urged against illegal foreign workers

TN News

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Fines against violations involving illegal foreign workers in Vietnam should be increased and violating companies should be publicly announced on the media, a labor official said.

Le Quang Trung, deputy director of the Employment Department under the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs, said labor management agencies should have stricter actions against violations and facilitate procedures for companies to register for work permit for their foreign workers.

"The ministry has instructed provincial agencies to help employers and foreign workers to follow labor regulations while enforcing surveillance against breaches," he told Thanh Nien in an interview on Friday.

On the same day, Trung said his department completed a circular clarifying regulations in two decrees on management of foreign workers, to be issued soon.

"Provincial labor agencies have coordinated to build the new document, which promotes propagandizing campaigns and improving regulations," he said.

There should be "better coordination between labor agencies, police, management of industrial park and agencies for planning and investment" to better deal with the issue, he added.

According to Trung, illegal foreign workers currently working in Vietnam would have to apply for a work permit by August 1 and other foreign workers must obtain a permit before entering Vietnam for working.

Work permit is exempted for foreign workers under three months but recruiters are required to report to provincial labor department at least seven days before recruitment.

Last week, Thanh Nien reported about rampant illegal manual Chinese workers of foreign contractors at construction sites in many provinces, including Quang Ninh, Hai Phong, Ninh Binh and Dak Nong.

Following the report, Trung said the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs has dispatched officials to the provinces for inspection.

The Employment Department reported a total of 74,000 foreign workers are working in Vietnam by May, most of them have obtained work permit and are skilled workers. Most workers are from China, South Korea, Thailand and Indonesia.

Trung said there was an increase of foreign workers this year due to increasing investment and illegal workers obtaining working permit recently.

However, Trung admitted "a significant number" of illegal manual foreign workers working for foreign contractors in Vietnam.

"Many foreign contractors often failed to obtain work permit for their workers. They didn't follow relevant regulations and often complaining for many reasons for failing to register," he said.

Provincial agencies are enforcing inspections of these illegal workers, he added.

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