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Labour Ministry Submits Draft Employment Law to NA

Source: Vientiane Times

The Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare on Monday asked the National Assembly to approve a new law aimed at protecting the rights of both workers and employers, to help maintain a healthy balance in the workplace.

Minister Mrs. Baykham Khattiya submitted a draft of the law for consideration by Assembly members at a time when numerous challenges are affecting people’s livelihoods and the economy, with the depreciation of the kip and rampant inflation causing severe hardship.

Presenting the draft of the Law on Employment, the minister said the law was needed to ensure fulfillment of the Party and government’s wish to ensure that working conditions were fair for all involved.

Mrs. Baykham said the law covers areas such as dismissal, annual leave, salary, age and gender-related discrimination, and many other areas involved in the relationship between employees and employers.

Other topics covered are bullying and harassment, disability, race and ethnicity, religion, employee grievances, employee contracts, gender-equal pay, redundancy, and working hours.

Everyone wants to have a job, including being self-employed, while businesses are struggling to hire enough workers. A law is needed to help stabilize the situation, ensure employment is regulated, and enable more people to be satisfactorily employed, Mrs. Baykham said.

All employers, in both the private and public sectors, should do more to create job opportunities while ensuring that recruitment and working conditions are fair and acceptable, she added.

The state and related parties also need a worker development policy for rural areas, to encourage more people to be self-employed, while also boosting production, trade, and services, to spur economic growth and provide more people with a stable income.

Strong and sustainable efforts should also be aimed at solving the problem of worker migration from rural to urban areas, and the large number of people seeking work in other countries.

Article 29 of the proposed law states that business owners must comply with all the regulations concerning employment, recognizing that this is an essential part of running and growing a business.

The law serves to protect businesses and outlines their obligations towards employees and what protection they have in the event of a workplace accident, collapse of the business, or other extreme circumstances.

Essentially, the law aims to keep the employment relationship healthy for both employers and employees, Mrs Baykham said.