Lao Minister Proposes New Employment Law to Safeguard Workers’ Rights and Boost Job Market

Lao Minister Proposes New Employment Law to Safeguard Workers' Rights and Boost Job Market
the Minister of Labor and Social Welfare Ms. Baykham Khattiya meet up with workers at a garment factory in Laos (photo: KPL)

The Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare requested approval from the National Assembly on Monday for drafting a new law aimed at ensuring employment and protecting the rights of workers and employers while economic challenges continue to affect the country.

During the meeting, the Minister of Labor and Social Welfare Ms. Baykham Khattiya emphasized the need for a suitable employment law in light of the rapid changes in the country, region, and world in terms of socio-economic development, particularly in the fields of information, technology, and innovation.

This has led to an increase more employment opportunities for Lao citizens. However, the current policies and legislation regarding employment are insufficient and not quite oriented toward the actual needs of the workforce.

Ms. Baykham pointed out that the current labor market information system lacks comprehensive participation from the government sector, business sector, labor force, and society. This fragmented approach has resulted in inefficient and ineffective management of job searches and labor market monitoring.

Additionally, access to secure employment, suitable income, and legal protection for the labor force in Laos is still limited.

“Everyone wants to have a job, including being self-employed, while at the same time, 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,” said Ms. Baykham.

Recognizing these challenges, the proposed employment law seeks to regulate employment practices and create a more stable work environment for both employees and businesses.

The proposed law covers various aspects of the employee-employer relationship, including dismissal procedures, annual leave entitlements, salary regulations, and the prevention of discrimination based on age and gender. It also addresses issues such as bullying, harassment, employee grievances, contracts, equal pay, redundancy, and working hours.

With its comprehensive coverage, the law aims to foster a harmonious and equitable working environment for all individuals involved. By acknowledging the responsibilities of businesses towards their employees, the law aims to ensure adequate protection in cases of workplace accidents, business closures, or other exceptional circumstances.