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Ministry supports Lao workers affected by Covid-19 outbreak

The Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare has vowed to uphold the benefits and rights of Lao workers, especially by assisting those who have been temporarily laid off or lost days of work during the Covid-19 outbreak.
In recent years workers have received more assistance as most people are now covered by the Social Security System.
However, the global pandemic has severely impacted Laos’ economy and most workers have been unable to claim unemployment benefits, whether for temporary or permanent job losses.

In his recent report to the National Assembly, Minister of Labour and Social Welfare Dr Khampheng Saysompheng highlighted the successful efforts of authorities to assist Lao workers overseas.
The ministry has instructed Labour and Social Welfare Departments around the country to work with local authorities in providing detailed information about the number of people in need of assistance. The ministry is also working more closely with related ministries to assist vulnerable groups who have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, including members of the  Social Security System, through existing cooperation mechanisms, exchanges of information, and the promotion of labour initiatives.
Dr Khampheng said the ministry had been successful in helping Lao workers by ensuring that all workers, including those returning from outbreak countries and those laid off or furloughed by employers during the pandemic, were given appropriate assistance by their employers.
They would also receive assistance or unemployment benefits from the government where appropriate under the regulations. The ministry had ordered labour officials in every province to provide detailed information on the numbers of people currently unemployed, he added.
Labour and Social Welfare Departments throughout the country are also gathering information on the jobs available in each province and in Vientiane. 
The ministry will provide supporting programmes for people wanting to work on a freelance basis or be self-employed, as well as for those who hope to find more work in other countries when the situation improves.
The ministry has partnered with other Asean countries for a collective response to the virus outbreak. This is aimed at mitigating the impact on vulnerable groups and obtaining updates from member states on the Covid-19 situation in each country. In addition, the ministry will continue to promote a high quality of life, equitable access to opportunities for all, and promote and protect the rights of children, older persons, and persons with disabilities.
Dr Khampheng told the Assembly the ministry would continue to provide updates on the Covid-19 situation and the impacts on vulnerable groups in the region, while also trying to reduce the barriers faced by disadvantaged people.

By Phetphoxay Sengpaseuth
(Latest Update June 30, 2020)

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