Revision to Labour Code discussed, aimed at gender equality promotion

Friday, 2018-10-19 16:31:04
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Delegates at the workshop discuss the promotion of gender equality in the revision of the 2012 Labour Code. (Photo courtesy to UN Women)
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NDO – Around 200 representatives who are policy makers and practitioners from the Vietnamese authorities, workers’ and employers’ representative organisations, diplomatic agencies and international organisations gathered at a consultation workshop held in Hanoi on October 19, to discuss the promotion of gender equality in the revision to the Labour Code.

The event was organised by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA), with support from Investing in Women, an initiative of the Australian Government, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) in Vietnam.

It is the biggest consultation on the provisions to ensure and promote gender equality of the Labour Code reform, in which the Vietnamese Government highlights the benefits of gender equality at work and its efforts to address women’s and men’s equal opportunities and treatment. The 2012 Labour Code is being amended to pave the way for Vietnam’s economy to become more competitive and deliver decent work and growth fit for the Government’s vision of the nation in the 21st century.

The Code revision is being carried out in the context of Vietnam’s preparation to enter into the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement, which will expand Vietnam’s access to the EU and CPTPP countries’ markets.

A panel discussion at the workshop discusses the revision to the Labour Code towards the promotion of gender equality for enhanced competitiveness and sustainable development. (Photo courtesy to UN Women)

The Labour Code revision is a specific work for Vietnam to implement its international treaty commitments in the field of workplace gender equality, making it a probable leading nation in the region in respecting fundamental rights at work that underlie economic productivity and competitive advancement.

Gender inequality should no longer be seen as a purely social issue, but as an economic one that presents a key challenge to attaining inclusive and sustainable growth, Australian Ambassador Craig Chittick said at the opening of the consultation.

The efforts led by MOLISA, with support from the Australian Government and UN Women, focus on shifting the approach and improving the regulations in five areas of Vietnam’s current Labour Code, including eliminating the retirement age gap between male and female employees through gradual adjustments; removing the ban on hiring women in certain areas of employment; improving provisions on preventing and addressing sexual harassment; ensuring and promoting equality and non-discrimination based on gender in performing reproductive and child-care functions; and improving the social responsibility mechanism between the State and employers in organising day care facilities and kindergartens, and in supporting employees with sending their children to day care facilities and kindergartens.

Input from the workshop is expected to inform MOLISA’s (revised) Labour Code Project, which is scheduled to be brought before the National Assembly for comments in May 2019 and for adoption in October 2019.