Currently, female employees account for a large proportion of enterprises. Unlike male employees in terms of health, female employees require special attention from enterprises and ensure several conditions in the workplace. Vietnamese laws now have stipulated several regulations requiring enterprises to improve welfare and working conditions for female employees.
Through this article, BLawyers Vietnam introduces the benefits for female employees that enterprises should pay attention to.
1. Female employees having pregnancy or raising children
Female employees are entitled to 60 minutes of rest per day while raising children under the age of 12 months, with no salary reductions under the labor contract.
Furthermore, enterprises are not allowed to hire female employees to work at night, overtime, or on long business trips in the following cases:
(i) Pregnancy begins in the 7th month or the 6th month if working in the highlands, remote areas, borders, or islands;
(ii) Raising a child under 12 months old, unless the female employee agrees otherwise.
In addition, the social insurance law also encourages enterprises to create favorable conditions for female employees to take more time off for antenatal care. Specifically, during pregnancy, female employees have the right to take 05 times off from work to go for antenatal care, once each day. If they live far from medical facilities or have a medical condition or an abnormal pregnancy, they are entitled to 2 days’ leave from work for each prenatal check-up.
2. Employment guarantee for female employees’ post-maternity leave
After the maternity leave period, female employees are guaranteed to return to their previous jobs. When returning to the previous job, female employees must not be paid less, and have fewer rights and benefits than they did before maternity leave. If the previous job is no longer available, the enterprise must arrange other jobs for them with a salary not lower than the salary before maternity leave.
Besides, if the labor contract expires during the pregnancy or while raising children under the age of 12 months, the new labor contract shall be prioritized.
3. Installation of a facility/room for expressing and storing breast milk if an enterprise has more than 1,000 female employees
Enterprises with 1,000 or more female employees must install a room for expressing and storing breast milk at the workplace. In other cases, enterprises are encouraged to install a room for expressing and storing breast milk following the practicality in the workplace, the needs of female employees, and the enterprises’ capabilities.
At the same time, for female employees to perform the ministry more assuredly and comfortably, the room for expressing and storing breast milk must:
(i) not located in the bathroom/toilet;
(ii) have electricity, water, tables and chairs, refrigerators to ensure hygiene;
(iii) be equipped with fans/air conditioners; and
(iv) located at the convenient site and covered from everyone’s sights.
4. Payment of additional wages for female employees working during the menstruation period
Female employees are entitled to take a 30-minute break every day, counted in working hours, and still receive a full salary under the labor contract. The number of days with time off during the menstruation period in a month shall be agreed upon by enterprises and female employees under the actual working conditions in the workplace and the needs of female employees. The minimum duration is 03 working days per month and the female employees notify the enterprise of the specific time of leave each month.
If the female employees do not need to take a break and the enterprise agrees to let them work, then the female employees will be paid an additional salary based on the work they completed during the break period. This working time is not counted as overtime for female employees.
5. Enterprises support in organizing of nurseries and kindergartens
To encourage enterprises to organize nurseries and kindergartens to reduce the burden on female employees with young children to work with peace of mind, the law stipulates that those enterprises are eligible for tax reductions and exemptions from renting facilities.
In addition, enterprises must implement plans to support childcare costs at nurseries and kindergartens for female employees with young children, either in cash or in kind. Enterprises can decide the level and duration of such support after discussing it with the employees through workplace dialogue.
Thus, enterprises particularly those with a high proportion of female employees should pay attention to the above-mentioned policies to ensure the welfare of such workers. Complying with these regulations will not only help enterprises improve productivity, and attract and retain human resources, but will also help them manage legal risks.
Date: 04 April 2022
Writer: Linh Nguyen
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