The rate of women participating in the labor force in Vietnam accounts for about 50% of the labor force in Vietnam and tends to increase each year, contributing significantly to the overall development of society. With the specific characteristics of women’s health, physiology, and motherhood functions, the law has developed a number of regulations to ensure women’s basic human rights, equal working rights compared to men, encourage the use of female workers to optimize available human resources.
So, what should businesses as employers keep in mind when employing female workers?
1. Ensure equal rights with male workers in terms of salary, bonuses, and promotions
Enterprises are responsible for exercising the equal rights of male and female workers, implementing measures to ensure gender equality in recruitment; use; train; salary and bonus regime; working conditions, labor safety; working time, rest time; material and mental welfare regime.
Businesses pay attention to the issue of preventing sexual harassment in the workplace.
2. Organize periodic health checks
Female workers have the right to annual gynecological examinations.Enterprises are responsible for organizing periodic health examinations at least once a year, in which female employees receive specialized obstetric examinations according to the list of specialized obstetric examinations issued by the Ministry of Health.
3. Create conditions for rest during menstruation
Female workers during menstruation are entitled to a 30-minute break every day.This break will be counted as working hours and will receive full salary according to the labor contract. The minimum number of days off during menstruation is 3 working days/month.
The parties can agree on a specific number of days off, time off or refuse to take off. It should be noted that, in cases where the employee does not need to take time off and is agreed by the employer, the female employee has the right to be paid an additional salary corresponding to the time off while still working.
4. Make sure to rest while raising children under 12 months old
Female workers who are raising children under 12 months old are entitled to 60 minutes/day off during work timeto breastfeed, express, store milk, and rest. Note that businesses must install a room to express and store breast milk at the workplace if they employ 1,000 or more female workers.
During the rest period in this case, female employees are still entitled to full salary according to the labor contract. In case there is no need to take leave, in addition to the salary she is entitled to according to regulations, female employees have the right to be paid additional salary during the time off.
5. Ensure employment and employment conditions for pregnant women and raising children under 12 months old
Enterprises are not allowed to employ female workers to work at night, work overtime, or go on long business trips in the following cases:
– Pregnant from the 7th month or from the 6th month if working in highland, remote, border, or island areas;
– Are raising a child under 12 months old, unless otherwise agreed by the employee.
Enterprises are responsible for changing to lighter jobs when female employees are pregnant and raising children under 12 months old, for female employees doing jobs that are heavy, toxic, dangerous or especially heavy and toxic, dangerous or doing occupations or jobs that have a negative impact on reproductive and child-rearing functions during pregnancy and notify the employer.
Female workers have the right to switch to lighter, safer work or reduce 1 hour of daily work without any reduction in salary, rights and benefits until the end of the time they raise children under 12 months old.
Female employees are guaranteed their old job when returning to work after the prescribed leave period ends without any reduction in salary, rights and benefits compared to before maternity leave. If the old job no longer exists, the enterprise must arrange another job for them with a salary not lower than the salary before maternity leave.
6. Maternity regime
Female employees are entitled to 6 months of maternity leave before and after giving birth; Prenatal leave period must not exceed 02 months. In case a female employee gives birth to twins or more, from the second child onwards, for each child, the mother is entitled to an additional month of leave. During maternity leave, female employees are entitled to maternity benefits according to the provisions of law on social insurance.
According to need, feminist workers agree with the employer to return to work after taking at least 4 months off or to take additional unpaid leave after the end of maternity leave.
7. Disciplinary action against female workers
Employers are not allowed to discipline female employees who are pregnant; maternity leave, raising children under 12 months old. However, the statute of limitations for labor disciplinary action can be extended according to regulations and disciplinary action will apply after the end of pregnancy, maternity leave, or raising a child under 12 months old.
8. The issue of termination of employment for female workers
The regulation prohibits employers from firing or unilaterally terminating contracts with female employees for reasons of marriage, pregnancy, maternity leave, or raising children under 12 months old. Female employees have the right to be given priority in entering into a new labor contract when the contract expires while pregnant or raising a child under 12 months old.
However, during pregnancy, female employees have the right to:
– Temporarily postpone the implementation of the labor contract, the time will be agreed upon by the parties, but not shorter than the time specified by the medical examination and treatment facility (if any).
– Unilateral termination of labor contracts.
The application of the rights of female workers must ensure that the reason for continuing to work will have a negative impact on the fetus and be certified by a medical examination and treatment facility.
- Labor Code 2019;
- Law on Occupational Safety and Hygiene 2015;
- Decree 145/2020/ND-CP guiding the Labor Code on working conditions and labor relations issued on December 14, 2020.
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