Vietnam Social Security takes firm action against insurance violations

Organisation considers criminal charges against offenders

Vietnam Social Security takes firm action against insurance violations

Insurance News

By Roxanne Libatique

The Vietnam Social Security (VSS) has collaborated with various agencies to address violations related to social, health, and unemployment insurance, even considering criminal charges against offenders.

Against a backdrop of intricate global and regional dynamics and domestic economic challenges, numerous local businesses have either halted operations, downsized production, or faced bankruptcy, the VSS said.

The deficiencies in employers' adherence to the law and employees' lack of awareness about their benefits and rights regarding social, health, and unemployment insurance contribute to these violations.

VSS takes action

With instances of employers delaying, evading, or inadequately paying premiums – and even misappropriating them – becoming prevalent, the VSS has taken measures against such employers, ensuring the legitimate rights and benefits of employees.

Collaborating with functional agencies, the VSS has initiated legal actions and imposed administrative penalties on employers evading insurance premiums, with lawsuits supported by trade unions, and proposals for criminal investigations.

Prosecution petitions

Between 2018 and November 2023, 413 prosecution petitions were submitted, distributed over the years as follows:

  • 73 in 2018
  • 151 in 2019
  • 115 in 2021
  • 26 in 2022
  • 21 in 2023

Out of these, 378 petitions under Article 216 of the Penal Code were sent, with 257 documents being addressed.

The VSS and the Ministry of Public Security have signed a coordination regulation, emphasising information exchange on cases displaying signs of violations.

The VSS has also actively identified insurance evasion and fund frauds, providing regular updates to aid functional forces in investigations and prosecutions. In 2022 and 2023, social insurance offices assessed damages caused by violations, supporting legal proceedings.

Challenges and recommendations

Despite administrative fines outlined in Decrees 12/2022/NĐ-CP and 117/2020/NĐ-CP, the VSS said the definition of “evasion” lacks clarity, hindering the determination of violations and imposition of penalties.

“The VSS admits that it is facing many difficulties in identifying whether an employer who fails to pay insurance premiums for employees commits the act of ‘evading payment of insurance premiums’ as it has yet provided with any tools or methods to prove that such employer ‘commits a deceitful act or employs another trick to evade payment of insurance premiums’ as guided in Article 2 of Resolution 05/2019/NQ-HDTP,” the VSS said in a statement.

To address these issues, the VSS proposed amendments to social insurance and health insurance laws, as well as administrative and criminal laws. It urged local police offices to collaborate closely with social security offices to collect evidence, facilitating criminal investigations.

Regarding union rights to file lawsuits, the VSS calls for a review and proposed amendments by relevant agencies to the National Assembly.

In other news, the Vietnamese Ministry of Finance proposed to fine insurers over providing “incorrect advice intentionally.”

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