Foreign workers in recent years have been flocking to Vietnam, where they can easily find jobs and escape from the control by watchdog agencies thanks to the loose management.
The promised land
The number of foreigners flocking to the Vietnamese labour market has been increasing rapidly year after year. 52,633 workers went to Vietnam in 2008, while the figures were 55,428 in 2009 and 56,929 in 2010. By September 2011, 78,440 workers had come to Vietnam, which included 5581 workers were not subject to work permit granting and 31,330 workers who did not get work permits.
Meanwhile, in the first five months of 2012 alone, 31,000 foreign workers were found out as working illegally on the Vietnamese territory.
The foreign workers come from 60 countries, mostly Asian countries (more than 58 percent) such as China, Japan, South Korea and Malaysia. Meanwhile, 28.5 percent came from Europe, and the remaining from other nations.
It’s a growing tendency of Vietnam to import foreign workers in recent years. Some businesses believe that expat workers can work with higher productivity and can handle with the jobs which cannot be done by Vietnamese.
Vietnam proves to be a paradise for foreigners to work and live. They can lead peaceful and comfortable life in Vietnam – the image which seems to come contrary to the difficulties they would face if they stay in Europe, where the public debt crisis is damaging economies
However, labour experts have warned that expat workers have brought many negative things. The State would have to spend more money to deal with social problems. Vietnam has to struggle with the cultural invasion, while Vietnamese workers have become redundant.
They have given warnings about the loopholes relating to the foreign worker management in the Labour Code.
In recent National Assembly’s sessions, National Assembly’s deputies all said that while Vietnam keeps very tight control over the Vietnamese workers going working abroad, it has been keeping a loose control over expat workers in Vietnam
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To date, no legal document has been issued with the updated information about the careers in which Vietnam needs to employ foreign workers. It’s still unclear about the competition agencies which have the power to arrange jobs for foreigners, when the enterprises decide to recruit foreigners.
As a result, a lot of enterprises “dodge the laws” to employ foreign workers, while it’s impossible to deal with the lawsuits where foreigners make violations, simply because of the lack of the legal framework to resolve the problems.
Meanwhile, the light punishment behaviors prove to be unable to force foreigners to follow the labour laws in Vietnam. If an enterprise is found as using foreign labourers without noticing to the local department of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs, would be imposed the fine of 20-30 million dong. However, the sum of money proves to make nothing if compared with the big profit which can be brought by expat workers.
The experts have called on to tighten the management over both the foreign workers and employers. However, they believe that the State can control the companies’ behavior of recruiting workers, while it cannot control the will of immigrants.
Immigrants would not be able to join the labour market illegally, if there is no company which recruits them.
In the latest news, Vietnam, while compiling the job law, is intending to grant codes to every worker, which is believed to help strengthen the control over labour imports.