97.9 percent of labourers in informal sector lack social insurance

08/01/2019 10:25 AM

Up to 97.9 percent of labourers in the informal sector have no social insurance, according to research carried out in November by the Department of Social Assistance under the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs and the Aid for Social Protection Programme Foundation Vietnam (AFV).

The research report on social security rights of women migrant workers in Vietnam found that 52.4 percent of internal migrants aged from 15-59 are female and 34.3 percent find it hard to find jobs, while 42.6 percent of the workers face housing difficulties.

Most of the internal migrants (79.1 percent) come from rural areas and two thirds have no professional skills. They often do simple jobs with average monthly income of 5 million VND (215 USD). The report cited statistics of the General Statistics Office in 2015 showing that more than half of the migrants are married and have children, and 40 percent live with their kids.


The report found limited access among women migrant workers to social security rights and information about jobs and income, as well as social insurance, assistance and services. Women migrant employees in the official sector have better knowledge about policies regarding social insurance than those in the informal sector. Due to their lack of knowledge, many female migrant labourers don’t know how to access social welfare or find assistance to access these rights in new places.

The report recommended raising awareness of migrant workers in general and female migrant employees in particular about their rights while encouraging them to access relevant information. Concerned parties should work to protect rights and interests of labourers in accessing social services equally, the report said, stressing the role of authorities in localities with many women migrant workers to keep tabs on them.  

At a workshop held in December 20 by the Department of Social Assistance, Pham Thi Hai Ha, deputy head of the department, said more and more people are moving from rural areas to cities for better lives. Women migrant workers have participated in both formal and informal economic sectors, significantly contributing to development, she said.

However, they have been seen as a disadvantaged and vulnerable group as they have met various difficulties while working and living in new places, she said, adding that the social security network has yet to cover all of them, especially those in the informal economic sector. Free trade agreements Vietnam has signed set requirements for labour protection, generating both challenges and opportunities for Vietnam as businesses often pursue profits and low cost by not ensuring working conditions, shortening working duration and limiting access to social welfare.

Besides, many workers know little about domestic and international labour laws, as well as their rights to health insurance and other social welfare, Ha said.

Vietnam Social Security