Monthly Newsletter of August 2021
COVID-19 and ECONOMIC NEWS
As of August 31, 2021, Vietnam’s Ministry of Health confirmed a total of 457,882 cases of infection in the country hit by the fourth COVID-19 wave (from April 27, 2021) (141,877 cases as of July 31, 2021). The most severely hit areas are Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) with 221,254 infections and neighboring provinces, such as Binh Duong Province with 114,788 infections, Dong Nai Province with 23,766 infections, Long An Province with 22,044 infections and Tien Giang Province with 9,652 infections.
There were 11,064 deaths announced due to the pandemic as of August 30, 2021. On the other side, around 200,126 patients were given the all-clear during the month, raising the number of recoveries to 236,086 during this wave.
Around 19.966.724 doses have been vaccinated as of August 30, 2021. In detail, 17,347,538 people were partially vaccinated and 2,619,186 people were fully vaccinated. Most of the vaccines were sent to the southern provinces, which are most severely hit areas.
In order to prevent the outbreak, effected cities and provinces have been placed under strict social distancing or social isolation in accordance with the Government’s Directive No. 16/CT-TTg. Residents of HCMC and some districts of Binh Duong Province are ordered to stay put (strictly stay at home) from August 23, 2021 onwards. People are being supplied foods and other essential services by local authorities and militaries in restricted areas or supported to buy foods by state agencies and officers in the rest areas. A numbers of medical workers and militaries are sent to the southern provinces to help preventing COVID-19. Through this measurement, the government tries to get the pandemic under control by September 15, 2021 as mandated by the central government. Numerous factories in the south of Vietnam have been applying “3 on-the-spot” (factories themselves became quarantine centers as workers eat, live and work on the spot without leaving the premises) or “one route – 2 destinations” while other factories have been closing their site until the restriction is lifted with further instructions from state agencies.
The Ho Chi Minh City Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control issued a plan to organize vaccination against COVID-19 in the whole city. Accordingly, from now on until the end of 2021, Ho Chi Minh City needs 14,891,800 more doses divided into 4 phases to ensure the coverage of 2 doses of vaccine for the people.
Viet Nam’s goods exports in January – August period soared by 21.2 percent to USD 212.5 billion, according to the General Statistics Office.
Viet Nam has overtaken Bangladesh as the world’s second largest exporter of ready-made garments, according to the latest figures from the World Trade Statistical Review 2021 released by World Trade Organization (WTO).
Source: Ministry of Health and Online Newspaper of the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam
NEW LEGAL REQUIREMENTS
1. Circular No. 02/2021/TT-BXD on National Technical Regulations on Fire Safety for Buildings and Constructions
The Circular No. 02/2021/TT-BXD was issued by the Ministry of Construction on issuance of National Technical Regulations QCVN 06:2021/BXD on Fire Safety for Buildings and Constructions and replacing National Technical Regulations QCVN 06:2020/BXD. Below are some mandated requirements applying to the manufacturer:
According to the regulation, F1.3 buildings (i.e. apartments and buildings with similar use features) with fire service height taller than 15 meters must fulfill all following requirements:
– Install fire access no further than 18 meters from the furthest point of entrances leading to buffer spaces of fire service elevators or evacuation stairwells equipped with 65 fire hydrants for professional fire brigade (of dry systems).
– Install parking lots for fire engines granting access to at least one (1) whole outer side of each building block. Parking lots for fire engines must be positioned no closer than 2 meters and no further than 10 meters from the outer walls of the buildings;
– Design of parking lots and driveways for fire engines must satisfy regulations under Article 14.
Other regulations relating to human safety assurance, fire spread prevention, firefighting and rescue and etc. were also updated.
The Circular is issued on May 19, 2021 and took effect from July 5, 2021.
2. Circular No. 04/2021/TT-BLDTBXH Guiding for some Regimes for the Fire Fighting Team
The Ministry of Labor – Invalids and Social Affairs issued Circular No. 04/2021/TT-BLDTBXH on June 30, 2021. The circular regulates benefits offered to firefighting participants.
Benefits offered to firefighting training participants: Training allowance:
Members of fire brigade are entitled to an amount equal to 30% of the region-based daily minimum wage on a daily basis.
The daily minimum wage equals monthly minimum wage of the region I (VND 4,420,000) / 26
This Circular will come into force from August 15, 2021.
3. Circular No. 06/2021/TT-BLDTBXH Amendments and Supplements to some Articles of Circular No. 59/2015/TT-BLDTBXH on Compulsory Social Insurance
The Ministry of Labor – Invalids and Social Affairs issued Circular No. 06/2021/TT-BLDTBXH on July 07, 2021. The circular will update and revise some regulation of compulsory social insurance.
1. New regulation on convalescence and recovery after sickness
The maximum leave period for convalescence and health rehabilitation in a year shall comply with the provisions of Point 2, Article 29 of Law on Social Insurance. The determination of the maximum time to enjoy the sickness benefits in a year is based on the last time that employees take leave and enjoys their sickness benefits before convalescence or health rehabilitation (suffers from a disease specified in the list of diseases with required long-term treatment, sick leave for surgery or other sickness)
2. New regulation on enjoy the lump-sum allowance upon birth giving
In case the mother participates in social insurance but is ineligible for the maternity benefits upon giving birth and the father fully meets the conditions specified at Clause a of this Clause, the father shall be entitled to a lump-sum allowance upon childbirth according to Article 38 of the Law on Social Insurance
3. New regulation on period of leave for the maternity benefits
Where the female employees have pregnancy of twin or more and if a baby is dead when giving a birth or during pregnancy period, the period of enjoyment, maternity allowance upon childbirth and one-time allowance upon childbirth shall be calculated according to the number of children born including dead or stillborn babies.
4. New regulations on period of leave for the maternity benefits
Male employees who are paying compulsory social insurance to the sickness and maternity fund are entitled to take leave for the maternity benefits when their wives give birth as prescribed in Clause 2, Article 34 of the Law on Social Insurance. In case of taking multiple leaves, the time to start taking last leave must still be within the first 30 days from the date that their wives give birth and the total period of leave for the maternity benefits must not exceed the prescribed time.
When calculating the period of leave for the maternity benefits as prescribed in Article 32, Article 33, Clause 2, Article 34 and Article 37 of the Law on Social Insurance, in case the employee is on annual leave, personal leave or unpaid leave in accordance with the Labor law, the period coincides with the period of annual leave, personal leave, unpaid leave shall not be counted to enjoy the regime; the time off work in addition to the annual leave, personal leave, unpaid leave is calculated to enjoy the maternity benefits.
5. New regulations on convalescence and recovery after maternity leave
The period of the first 30 working days is defined as a period of 30 working days from the expiry date of the maternity leave entitlement period but the employee’s health has not rehabilitated yet.
Female employees who go to work before the maternity leave period expires as prescribed in Article 40 of the Law on Social Insurance shall not receive the convalescence and health rehabilitation benefits after the period of enjoying the regime after childbirth.
For female employees who 1) take leave for convalescence and recovery when getting miscarriage, abortion, stillbirth or pathological abortion and 2) take leave for convalescence and recovery for childbirth in a year, the leave period in each case must not exceed the maximum period specified in Clause 2, Article 41 of the Law on Social Insurance (a/ 10 days, for female employees who give birth to twins or more infants; b/ 7 days, for female employees who have a surgical birth; c/ 5 days, in other cases).
In case the employee does not take leave, he/she is not entitled to the leave for convalescence and recovery.
This Circular will come into force from September 1, 2021.
4. Decision No. 3089/QD-TLD on Providing Meal Allowances for Members of the Trade Union and Employees of Enterprises Applying “3 On-The-Spot”
Vietnam General Confederation of Labor issued the Decision No. 3089/QD-TLD on providing meal allowances for members of the Trade Union and employees of enterprises applying “3 on-the-spot” working regime (factories themselves became quarantine centers as workers eat, live and work on the spot without leaving the premises) in provinces and cities applying social isolation in accordance with the Government’s Directive No. 16/CT-TTg on August 24, 2021. This decision has come into force on the same day.
According to the decision, members of Trade Union and employees of enterprises that have paid union dues and apply the “3 on-the-spot” working regime will be entitled to the meal allowance of VND one million per person supporting for one time only.
To get the allowance, the Trade Union shall report the number of members of the Trade Union and employees that work “3-on-the-spot” to maintain production activities to the directly upper Trade Unions for their reviewing and approval of budget.
If the enterprises have paid Trade Union dues already, but its own Trade Union has not been established yet, the directly supervisory Trade Union can work with that enterprise to verify before giving them allowances.
OneStepVietnam employees work-from-home and provide remote services to customers
From 0:00 on July 9, 2021, all OneStepVietnam employees followed the Directive of the government and requirements of the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City to implement work-from-home to protect ourselves and the community in the complicated situation of COVID-19.
During this period, OneStepVietnam still provides our remote services, including consultation, training and virtual audit (internal audit and audit for customers).
Summary of the remote consultation: OneStepVietnam team has been receiving many questions from the factories about the important topics in this period, such as:
– How to arrange “3 on-the-spot” at the production sites and how to encourage employees to ensure the balance of work, mental health, salary and COVID-19 protections.
– In case the lockdown keeps continuing for a long time, what are the solutions for the factory on many concerns of the employment relationship, such as retrenchment, termination, applying annual leave, leave with downtime payment, leave without pay, social insurance contribution, etc.
OneStepVietnam team with expertise knowledge and problem solving, based on the legal requirements, global information of COVID-19 and reality knowledge has been consulting many proper solutions to the factories to ensure the balance of workforce, human resources, management system, production, long-term preparation and long-term values of the supply chain.
Summary of the remote audit: OneStepVietnam team has been conducting virtual audits for the factories in the North of Vietnam, where the factory operates their site normally with COVID-19 precautions. OneStepVietnam team also conducted a virtual audit for one factory in Malaysia in August 2021.
Summary of the remote training: OneStepVietnam team has provided remote training with the topics of CSR implementation and management system, legal requirements for one footwear Licensee in Ho Chi Minh City in August 2021.
OneStepVietnam team – August 2021