Source: Vientiane Times
The government insists that jobs relating to hair styling for men and women will remain the preserve of Lao nationals as designated by law, despite the many establishments currently being operated by foreign nationals.
Local authorities need to continue the established system of inspections to regulate foreign nationals operating hairdressing salons, to reduce the number of public complaints about the issue, a leading official said.
Deputy Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone gave the advice to authorities during a recent national labour and welfare sector meeting.
He said the relevant sectors should discuss concrete measures to enforce the law, which prohibits foreigners from owning and operating barber shops and beauty salons in Laos.
Data shows that of the many hairdressing salons in Laos most are owned by Vietnamese nationals.
Minister of Labour and Social Welfare, Dr Khampheng Saysompheng, admitted there were concerns about this issue because some local authorities still did not understand the registering of foreign workers and the correct procedures in issuing them with temporary work permits. Many foreigners were running businesses in Laos, including beauty salons and barber shops.
Authorities have found it difficult to obtain precise information because most foreign-operated barber shops were opened in the name of a Lao individual, he said.
“Labour authorities will do more to regulate illegally-operated, foreign-owned barber shops and beauty salons to reduce the number of public complaints,” he added.
An anonymous senior official from Xekong province said that for several years provincial authorities had permitted foreigners to operate these types of businesses because local folk were not interested in this line of work.
“Also, we have registered foreign workers, giving them temporary work permits to operate these businesses,” the official said.
In recent years, authorities have trained young people in vocational job skills so they can set up their own businesses in the provinces and have a permanent livelihood.