- 5 April: Vietnam’s Ministry of Health confirmed a total of 2,631 cases of COVID-19. The latest cases were all imported and quarantined on arrival.
- 30 March: More than 46,000 people (healthcare and frontline workers) have been inoculated against the pandemic in Vietnam since Vietnam’s vaccination program began on March 8.
- 24 March: Vietnam has approved the use of Russia’s Sputnik-V COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use. The country plans to diversify its sources for COVID-19 vaccines among reported shortages in procuring the vaccine.
Factory Service Update
- In April 2021, Better Work’s on-site services have been resumed in the factories. Virtual advisory visits and online training courses/E-learning may be carried out as alternatives during this period.
- 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
- Mid-April: 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.
- In March and April, 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.