Companies unwilling to grant sick leave (illustrative photo)
Pharmacies in Binh Duong and Ho Chi Minh City have been selling fake medical certificates which grant workers with sick leave entitlement.
The fake certificates are widely sold at photocopy shops in Linh Trung Export Processing Zone on the border between Ho Chi Minh and Binh Duong city. Despite initial reluctance, an owner of a photocopy shop admitted that fake documents could be obtained, “We only do the entire resume at VND170,000 (USD8.15) which include a health certificate with hospital stamp. We’re having problems with sick leave certificates because the police are investigating the issue.”
Local motorbike taxi drivers said the certificates for sick leave were hard to source because of how they related to employee insurance payments. The stores are now only willing to sell the documents to regular customers.
Insurance agencies said it was difficult to distinguish fake and real certificates. Some of the forged documents include real hospital stamps and doctor signatures.
In a recent investigation with the workers of Viet Nam Sun Shin Company, most of the workers admitted they had resorted to using fake certificates because the company had been unwilling to offer basic sick leave.
A female worker broke down in tears when being questioned by the Ho Chi Minh PA17-Economic Security Office, “I wanted to visit my father. He is really sick in hospital but I couldn’t get permission. I had to buy a fake certificate.” Unfortunately, she received news from hospital during the interview that her father had passed away.
When being asked about the certificate problem, the personnel department of Viet Nam Sun Shin Company only said they had the situation under control.
Director of Ho Chi Minh Social Insurance Cao Van Sang said that if the workers had permission for sick leave then they were entitled to 75% of the daily minimum wage of around VND31,923-59,615 (USD1.15-2.15). However, the workers were unlikely to use the fake certification to scam money, as the documents cost between VND100-300,000 (USD4.79-14.38).
Sang said the problem was caused by the link between the year-end bonuses and work hours. Workers want sick leave so they can attend personal emergencies without having their year-end bonuses put in jeopardy.