Jul 7, 2014

Vietnam - Firms fail to pay insurance premiums

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THANH HOA (VNS) —  More than 3,000 businesses in the central province of Thanh Hoa have failed to pay social and health insurance premiums for their workers in the first half of this year, according to the provincial social insurance agency.

Their debts amount to over VND370 billion (US$17.6 million).

Top of the list include HANCORP.2 Company, a branch of the Ha Noi Construction Corporation, with a total debt of VND10.3 billion ($490,000) and the Licogi 15 Bim Son Company with a total debt of VND7.3 billion.

Director of the provincial Social Insurance Agency Le Thanh Sinh told Lao Dong (Labour) Newspaper these businesses' violations seriously violated the legitimate rights and interests of thousands of workers, he said.

Workers at enterprises that do not pay social insurance risk being not able to get sick pay, maternity and paternity leave or compensation after suffering from workplace accidents.

Deputy Director General of HANCORP.2 Construction Company Cao Van Tan said economic difficulties had caused a lot of challenges for businesses, but the company had to managed to pay workers' salaries.

Provincial authorities have fined many companies for not paying insurance debts over the years, but the punishment was not strong enough.

Under current regulations, businesses that do not pay social and health insurance fees for workers are subject to criminal prosecution.

The maximum administrative fine for such violators is only VND30 million (US$1,430), while insurance premiums can total billions of dong.

The problem has also been recorded in other localities nationwide.

Up to half of the 300,000 businesses nationwide failed to pay social insurance premiums for their workers, according to the Viet Nam Social Insurance Collection Board.

Head of the board, Tran Dinh Lieu, said at a recent press briefing that the number of enterprises owing social insurance premiums was increasing, and the debt amounted to trillions of dong.

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