Policy brief: Gaps and potential risks in the implementation in micro and smallsized timber enterprises

In June, 2021, The Center for Rural Development in Central Vietnam (CRD) pubelished a policy brief on “Gaps and potential risks in the implementationof regulations on labour contracts, employee insurance, and occupational safety in micro and smallsized timber enterprises in the context of VPA/FLEGT implementation”, this brief is based on an overview of survey and research reports conducted by the organizations of the VNGO-FLEGT network.

The VPA/FLEGT Agreement sets out labour compliance requirements for timber organizations/enterprises that are specified in Vietnamese legal documents. However, small and micro-sized timber enterprises are not fully complying with these regulations, which have negative impacts not only on their employees, especially female employees, but also on timber enterprises themselves. This situation is fundamentally due to several reasons. Firstly, there is a lack of strict supervision of labour law enforcement. Secondly, employees’ knowledge and awareness of labour laws are limited. Thirdly, due to economic difficulties, employees accept working in unsafe conditions. Lastly, because timber enterprises’ labour needs fluctuate, they find it difficult to maintain a consistent workforce. These reasons cause some businesses to circumvent labour laws.

To address these issues, specific regulations for temporarily contracted employees should be introduced for seasonal workers with contract terms of less than three months for micro and small-sized timber enterprises; awareness on corporate social responsibility in the timber industry should be raised; employees’ knowledge and awareness of legal regulations on labour and occupational safety should be enhanced; and the supervision of labour and occupational safety legislation and its implementation should be strengthened.

Please read full policy brief here: Policy brief_VPA-FLEGT_final_EN_15June2021