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Govt mulls compensation for unemployed workers

The Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare will ask the government to give specific instructions concerning the response to the unusual circumstances resulting from the Covid outbreak.
The request, following recommendations by businesses, will be tabled at the cabinet’s next monthly meeting.
The measures taken by the ministry so far concerning the Covid outbreak relate to the Law on Labour, Law on Social Insurance, and Prime Minister’s Order No. 6 on Enhancing Measures on Prevention, Control, and Comprehensive Preparedness in the Response to Covid-19.

Deputy Director General of the ministry’s Department of Labour Management, Mr Oudone Maniboune, said on Tuesday that the ministry has instructed some businesses that suspended operations in April, under the PM’s Order, to pay their employees their normal wage if they have not already done so.
Businesses that are in serious financial difficulties should pay their workers at least 50 percent of their normal wage, he added.
Workers whose wages are determined by output or are paid on a daily basis and earn less that the minimum wage should also be paid at least 50 percent of the amount they typically earn, or about 550,000 kip per month.
The special instructions issued in relation to the payment of wages during the Covid outbreak expired in July. But restrictions are still in force and businesses remain affected by closures under the current lockdown.
Workers who are members of the Social Insurance Fund and were laid off by their employers under the PM’s Order are to be paid unemployment benefit.
Vice President of the Lao Federation of Trade Unions, Mr Phonesane Vilaymeng, said the labour ministry had ordered businesses to continue to pay workers during the virus outbreak.
Payments should be made to assist people who are unemployed after factories were ordered to temporarily shut down their operations because of the threat of the virus. The Lao Federation of Trade Unions and the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare have instructed businesses in the production and service sectors to respect the Law on Labour and related regulations on the payment of workers affected by the Covid outbreak.
The thousands of people now unemployed are in need of prompt financial assistance to cover their daily living costs. The private sector has called on the government to intervene, asking for banks to extend the repayment period for loans and interest, and for microfinance institutions to provide emergency soft loans for businesses.
Businesses have also asked the government to ease the situation with regard to the payment of taxes, tariffs and land leases for a six-month period to ease the financial burden on the commercial sector.

By Phetphoxay Sengpaseuth
 (Latest Update September 30, 2021)


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