Vietnam Social Security works with partners to crack down on insurance law violations

02/02/2024 05:35 AM

The Vietnam Social Security (VS) has coordinated with functional agencies to impose penalties on social, health and unemployment insurance violations and propose criminal charges against violators.

Deputy Minister of Public Security Nguyen Duy Ngoc and VSS General Director Nguyen The Manh sign Coordination Regulation No 01/QCPH-BCA-BHXHVN dated January 21, 2022

Amid complicated global and regional situations combined with various domestic economic challenges, many local businesses have terminated or suspended operation, downsized production or went bankrupt.

The fact that there remain limitations in the employers’ law-abiding awareness and employees do not fully aware of their benefits and rights in joining in on social, health and unemployment insurance has led to violations.

Many employers have delayed, evaded paying or insufficiently paid premiums, even misappropriated the premiums. The VSS has taken drastic measures against employers who fail to fulfill their obligations to ensure legitimate rights and benefits of employees.

The VSS has worked with functional agencies to file lawsuits against and imposed administrative punishments on employers evading social, health and unemployment insurance premiums.

The VSS has sent documents to trade unions to support the lawsuits and proposed authorised agencies launch criminal investigations.

From 2018 to November 2023, the sector submitted 413 prosecution petitions to competent agencies including 73 documents in 2018; 151 documents in 2019; 115 documents in 2021; 26 documents in 2022 and 21 documents in 2023.

A total of 378 prosecution petitions under Article 216 of the Penal Code have been sent. Among those, 257 documents have been handled.

The VSS and the Ministry of Public Security signed Coordination Regulation No 01/QCPH-BCA-BHXHVN on the performance of the task of protecting national security, ensuring order and safety of the society, and fighting against crime in the field of social and health insurance.

Accordingly, they vowed to exchange information and data of cases that show signs of violations.

The VSS has inspected, identified insurance evasion and insurance fund frauds, and regularly updated information and situation to assist functional forces in the investigation and prosecution.

Implementing the provisions of the Law on Judicial Expertise, in 2022 and 2023, social insurance offices at all levels assessed damages caused by the violations on the social insurance, health insurance, and unemployment insurance funds.

The offices also calculated the amount of insurance premiums that employers fail to pay or did not fully pay.

The assessment made by the social security offices serves as an important evident for functional forces to start legal proceedings against the violations.

Chairman of the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour Nguyen Dinh Khang and VSS General Director Nguyen The Manh sign the Coordination Regulation between the two agencies in the 2023-28 period

Solutions proposed

According to the VSS, although administrative fines on insurance premium evasion has been stated in the Decree 12/2022/NĐ-CP and Decree 117/2020/NĐ-CP, the definition of “evasion” has not been clarified in any document. Thus, there is no legal basis to determine the violations and to impose administrative penalties and propose further criminal charges.

The VSS admits that it is facing many difficulties in identifying whether an employer who fails to pay insurance premiums for employees commits the act of “evading payment of insurance premiums” as it has yet provided with any tools or methods to prove that such employer “commits a deceitful act or employs another trick to evade payment of insurance premiums” as guided in Article 2 of Resolution 05/2019/NQ-HDTP.

Since 2019, filing lawsuits against employers who evaded social insurance premiums has been delayed due to difficulties in prosecution procedures and process.

Grassroots-level trade unions have been hesitant to initiate lawsuits or authorise higher-level trade unions to take on the task.

The trade unions also lack of human resources to undertake the work of initiating lawsuits while staff lack experience and expertise in this field.

Employees are not confident to give authority to the trade unions to file lawsuits against their employers because they are afraid of losing jobs.

To solve those problems, the VSS has proposed the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs and the Ministry of Health add regulations on delaying or evading insurance premiums in the amended social insurance and health insurance laws and other administrative, criminal laws.

The VSS has ordered local police offices to closely work with local social security offices in collecting violation evidence to facilitate investigation and ensure enough documents for criminal handling.

Regarding regulations which grant trade unions rights to file lawsuits on social insurance violations, the VSS has asked the Vietnam General Confederation of Labor and other relevant agencies to make review and propose the National Assembly make amendments./.