MoLHR launches a National Employment Policy to address unemployment

Regulation for Bhutanese job agents also launched

The Ministry of Labour and Human Resources (MoLHR) launched the National Employment Policy 2013 and Regulation for in-country Bhutanese Employment Agents 2014, yesterday in Thimphu.

According to the Ministry the Royal Government has consistently placed high priority on the creation and promotion of gainful employment opportunities for all its citizens in its development plans. The Ministry stated that though the unemployment rate of 2.1% in May 2012 was very low by international standards the government policy is committed to sustaining full employment of 97.5% of the labour force.

The goal of the National Employment policy is the achievement of full, productive, meaningful and decent employment for the people of Bhutan, which will drive the country towards achieving high levels of human development and contribute to the maximization of Gross National Happiness.

Inorder to achieve the overall goal of the National Employment Policy, issues have been categorized under five key dimensions of employment that include; employment creation; employability of the labour force; aligning the employment market; working conditions; and equal employment opportunities.

In order to align the employment market, the government shall identify regions and dzongkhags with lower employment rates, less enterprises, high migration rates, high poverty levels and develop special employment promotion programmes for these areas.

Inorder to improve the working conditions, MoLHR shall periodically review and update the national minimum wage levels in consultation with stakeholders.

MoLHR Minister Ngeema Sangay Tshempo said, “Till now MoLHR was looking after employment issues but the employment policy will give equal opportunity to the private sector like industries, businesses and local government to provide employment opportunity for youth.”

He said, since there are many training providers in the country, training providers need to create employment opportunities to the trainees. He said the government is also working hard to solve unemployment problem.

“Through the employment policy, we need to provide more job opportunities. As most of the youths are from poor families and do not know how and where to apply for the jobs it will help jobseekers,” Lyonpo said.

He concluded that if Bhutan wants to create employment opportunities than Bhutan should develop its economy.

The National Employment Policy shall be review from time to time based on the need assessment and the emerging employment issues.

The purpose of the regulation for in-country Bhutanese employment agents is to establish standards of conduct for the registration and operation of employment agencies for placement of Bhutanese jobseekers for jobs in Bhutan. It is also to ensure the provision of quality services to employers and jobseekers, ensure that the agents do not exploit the job seekers by charging unwarranted fees and ensure that the agent provides information as required on a regular basis to the MoLHR.

An agent’s registration shall not be renewed if the agent is found to be in breach of the provisions of this regulation and has not placed minimum of 100 jobseekers in that year as permanent or regular employees.

Upon successful placement of the job seekers, the agent may charge a maximum placement fee of 10% each from the employer and the jobseeker as a placement fee from the first month’s basic salary or wage of the jobseekers.

MoLHR Secretary Pema Wangda said, “If any private individual is interested to set up an employment Agent for the placement of Bhutanese in jobs in Bhutan, individuals can submit proposals and of course we have system of screening the proposal as per criteria.”

He said they have to submit proposals and the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MoEA) will issue a license but the MoLHR will issue the certificate of registration.

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