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Only 6% of construction workers buy social insurance
Thuy Dung
Monday,  Jun 5, 2017,22:57 (GMT+7)

Only 6% of construction workers buy social insurance

Thuy Dung

HANOI – Among three million workers in the construction industry, a mere 6% of them had social insurance coverage in 2014, shows a survey released at a seminar in Hanoi last Friday.

The event was jointly held by the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, and the International Labor Organization (ILO).

Meanwhile, in the handicraft sector, around 20% of 300,000 workers at enterprises making bamboo and rattan products were socially insured, according to the Vietnam Household Living Standards Survey 2014. This rate, though much higher than in the construction sector, is still alarmingly low.

An ILO report shows both enterprises and employees in these two sectors were reluctant to participate in social insurance.

Paulette Castel, an ILO consultant, said laborers want stable careers but are also ready to quit their jobs and return home if possible. Especially, construction workers seek short-term income sources rather than social benefits, so they are unwilling to sign labor contracts and contribute social insurance.

Bamboo and rattan craft workers have the same tendency. As a result, they are not committed to social insurance within 20 years to get pensions, as they are confident about their ability to earn a living upon retirement, plus a chance to have support from families.

Besides, employers are inclined to hire temporary workers through verbal contracts, and often pay their workers on a daily basis.

Nguyen Thi Dieu Hong, a social welfare expert, said it is necessary to develop a multi-layered social safety net consisting of compulsory and voluntary social insurance, as well as establish a set of satisfaction indicators towards social insurance procedures, thereby improving the quality of services, and building up confidence for participants.

Meanwhile, ILO recommended social insurance procedures should be simplified, and relevant technologies innovated to set up a flexible method that allows workers to have easier access to social insurance.

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