- August 2021:Hanoi extended social distancing measures until 6 September. Ho Chi Minh City authorities extended social distancing measures under Directive 16 for another month. Following Ho Chi Minh City, many southern localities have decided to continue practicing social distancing under the prime minister’s Directive 16 as the COVID-19 remains complicated. Nha Trang and Da Nang have banned people from leaving their homes for a week enhancing lockdown measures.
- July 2021: Authorities in Ho Chi Minh City have imposed strict compliance of social distancing measures under Directive 16 for 15 days since July 9 including fining people between VND 1 to 3 million (US$43 to US$130) for being outside without a valid reason. Checkpoints are set up on main roads and between districts while extensive testing is underway for city residents. Most provinces and cities require a negative COVID-19 test for those coming from Ho Chi Minh City. Authorities in Hanoi have ordered the closure of non-essential businesses such as indoor restaurants, cafes, and barbershops from July 13 due to rising cases. Vung Tau province implemented strict social distancing measures under Directive 16 from July 13 after recording an increase in cases.
- June 2021: The COVID-19 cases are increasing with the latest community transmission reported from Bac Giang, Hanoi, Lang Son and Ho Chi Minh city. Bac Giang remains the largest hotspot as the number of cases in this province has skyrocketed with ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks at industrial parks, which are under lockdown order. Ho Chi Minh City authorities is imposing social distancing measures starting from May 31 due to a rise in the number of cases.
- April 2021: The number of COVID-19 cases in Vietnam is stable with increasing concerns considering the increasing number of cases in the neighboring countries. Vietnam is considering the implementation of vaccine passports for three groups of vaccinated people such as Vietnamese stranded abroad, foreign business travelers, and foreign travelers.
Factory Service Update
- August 2021: Due to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh city are both under Directive 16 of the Government, all BW in-person visits were postponed and moved to a virtual format until further notice.
- July 2021: For factories in the North, Better Work has resumed our on-site services in the participating factories located in provinces with fewer COVID-19 cases. For factories in the South, all in-person visits were postponed and moved to a virtual format until further notice.
- June 2021: Given the escalation in cases and new government restrictions, all in-person visits are postponed and moved to a virtual format until mid or late June
- May 2021: Better Work’s on-site services have been temporarily postponed in the participating factories in the North until further notice. Virtual factory visits and online training courses are still being carried out.
- Advisory service: Vietnam experienced a “new normal” following COVID-19 disruptions. Better Work has adapted to the new situation by providing both in-factory service and online/virtual sessions upon factory request. Besides, new initiatives have been implemented with a focus on the prevention and mitigation of COVID-19.
- Assessment service: The factory on-site assessments have been done as scheduled despite a few disruptions due to COVID-19.
- Training service: Training courses are being introduced with both on-side and online/e-learning courses. These new alternatives fit the demand of factories that find transportation difficulties. BWV training calendar 2021 has been produced and presented to all participating factories.
Additional Better Work Activities
- August 2021: Better Work in coordination with MOLISA organizes series of online industry seminars related to social insurance regulations and support policies for employers and employees.
- July 2021: Better Work is organizing industry seminars related to Better Work/SLCP online platform for data sharing with factories participating in the programme. Better Work is going to conduct a Legal Forum with local brands to update them on the changes related to the Vietnam New Labour Code 2019 and revised Compliance Assessment Tool.
- June 2021: Better Work organized 2 online workshops: “Readiness for emergency preparedness plan” to support the factories better prepare for these emergencies proactively.
- April 2021: Better Work will coordinate with Viet Nam Health Environment Management Agency (VIHEMA) to organize a series of seminars on the topic of COVID-19 prevention at the workplace to help the factories better cope with the negative impacts of the pandemic on the industry.
- March 2021, Better Work has organized a series of seminars on the topic of gender as it affects policy, for the participating factories in the North and South. The purpose of these seminars is to provide a consistent understanding and knowledge of gender equity and discuss how gender issues in a factory’s policies affect workers and productivity. The seminars will also offer solutions for gender-related problems.
- Better Work has coordinated with VCCI (Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry) to organize some online/on-site sessions focusing on the changed content in Vietnam’s New Labour Code to support factories to understand the changed contents and discuss scenarios for implementing it.
- Better Work has coordinated with MOLISA (Vietnam Ministry of Labour – Invalids and Social Affairs) to organize the Legal Forums on November 2020 and February 2021 with Better Work local brands and buyers to discuss changed contents in Vietnam’s new Labour Code.
- Better Work has coordinated with MoIT (Vietnam Ministry of Industry and Trade) to organize the Roundtable on the Drafted Garment and Footwear Sectoral Strategy 2021-2030 on the 8th December 2020. The event was successfully organized with significant participation from Better Work brands. The strategy will be finalized and submitted to the Vietnamese government for approval by 2021.
- Other projects were done in 2020, such as IR project with VF (BWV pilots some IR training and coaching models with VF in a factory in Thanh Hoa province that helps the factory deepen IR understanding and coaching for improvement), and GEAR (a program that trains women working in garment factories to progress to higher-level roles, while contributing to increased line-level productivity)
- Better Work is now implementing the Worker Engagement Tool, or GOPY, to engage with PICC members and grass-root Trade Union to promote and share ‘microlearning’; promote social dialogue, especially during COVID-19 time.
- Better Work is building bridge module 4 – using GOPY to pilot for a grass-roots trade union to supervise the factory’s compliance with the support from the upper-level Trade Union (piloted in 50 factories, not in Better Work program). Labour inspectors also can get general information about compliance using this tool.