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NA Standing Committee rejects proposal to raise overtime hour cap

Many members of the National Assembly Standing Committee have rejected the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs’ proposal to raise the overtime hour cap to 400 hours per year as it runs counter to the global trend.



Nguyen Thuy Anh, head of the NA’s Committee for Social Affairs, speaks at the discussion on the draft amended labor law on August 14 - PHOTO: QUOCHOI.VN


At a discussion on the draft amended labor law on August 14, Nguyen Thuy Anh, head of the NA’s Committee for Social Affairs, said at the NA’s seventh sitting that many NA deputies had agreed to increase the maximum work time, applicable to certain sectors, but noted that the overtime pay must be hiked in a consistent manner.

Meanwhile, other deputies suggested careful consideration of the proposal to increase the overtime work limit was necessary as it protects local workers’ health.

The Committee for Social Affairs agreed that the Government should review the proposal as violations of overtime work limits remain rampant, though the principle of negotiations for working overtime is regulated by law. In addition, the overtime work limit increase will buck the global trend.

NA Vice Chairman Do Ba Ty said it is unnecessary to increase the overtime hour limit amid technological development and the improvement of workers’ skills. The Government should consult with the public on the proposal and assess the possible impacts, he noted.

NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan said that the overtime work limit increase had already been discussed twice, but both the Government and the NA had agreed to keep the regulation unchanged at 200 hours per year.

The proposal resulted from enterprises’ requests to raise the overtime hour cap to meet large seasonal orders from customers without expanding production and hiring more employees, which should be deemed labor exploitation, Ngan added.

She rejected the proposal for working against social progress.

A retirement age hike proposal also drew heated comments. According to the NA’s Committee for Social Affairs, many NA deputies supported the proposal that men retire at the age of 62 by 2028 and women retire at the age of 60 by 2035.

However, many workers, especially those directly participating in production lines, have opposed the proposal, reported Thuy Anh. The committee proposed the Government and the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs change the focus from “retirement age” to the “age of eligibility to receive pensions.”

Nguyen Dinh Khang, chairman of the Vietnam General Confederation of Labor, supported the retirement age increase proposal but suggested considering workers’ job roles.

In addition, many members of the NA Standing Committee supported a proposal to reduce the maximum working hours per week to 44 from the current 48 hours.

However, Vu Tien Loc, chairman of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the proposal was inappropriate as the labor productivity growth rate was low whereas workers’ salaries have increased sharply. Moreover, if the working hours are cut, enterprises may reduce the salaries of laborers. SGT


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