Whether you are native to Vietnam or a Job searcher from overseas looking for employment in Vietnam, it is essential to have a robust understanding of the labour laws. A robust understanding the legal system and your rights should help to lessen the probability of any legal employment surprises cropping up while searching for work, or indeed when you are actually in post. This article offers essential information both for the candidate and the employer.
Length of contract
The “Labour Law” in Vietnam covers all employees of Vietnamese-based organisations regardless of their nationality. When first being taken on by a Vietnamese organisation it may be for a temporary or probationary period. If an expatriate wishes to work for longer than 3 months, then they must obtain a work permit. It is the responsibility of the Vietnamese employer to provide support in accessing a work permit. As well as providing guidance and support they should provide the application form which in turn they will send to the appropriate body.
Boundaries for employment in Vietnam
It may well be that the type of work in your job role could be deemed hazardous. (i.e. construction industry, mining etc). The Vietnamese Labour Law restricts employers taking on individuals who may be considered as vulnerable (pregnant women, child employees, and older employees) in such situations. Whereas there is a strict minimum age for work in Vietnam, there is no maximum age limit. The government however does lay down “reduced working hours” as a guideline for men over 60 and women over 55.
Outsourcing and the Labour Law
Outsourcing or subcontracting does not come under the Labour Law of Vietnam as the law states that there must be a contract between employer and employee which outlines the tasks to be done. If the organisation contracted in wishes to transfer out those tasks to a third party, it has to be approved by the employer. If the employer wishes to subcontract from the beginning, he can enter into a contract with an outsourcing service.
Employment guidelines in Vietnam
- The contract must be written in Vietnamese as well as the language appropriate to the individual prospective employee and must include the following information:
- The work or tasks to be performed
- What working hours the employee will be expected to be working
- What the wages will be
- Where the working location will be
- The duration of the contract
- Aspects of occupational safety and hygiene relevant to the post. Employers are expected to provide employees with protective equipment.
- What social insurance is available for the employee
The maximum working hours per day is 8 hours. If the work is deemed extremely heavy, toxic or dangerous then the hours should be reduced accordingly. The maximum hours per week is 48 and employees must take a rest period of a minimum 24 consecutive hours per week. During the daily work period there will be rest periods which must be adhered to.
There is a minimum wage in Vietnam. This is reviewed every so often and so is open to change due to economic pressures. Also, there is more than one minimum level across Vietnam so it will depend on your location as to what the minimum salary level will be.
There are three types of labour contract:
- An indefinite-term labour contract
- A fixed-term labour contract of 12 to 36 months
- A labour contract for a specific seasonal job of less than 12 months
- If you are to be employed for an indefinite period or for at least 3 months you will have access to social insurance and annual leave by default. Both you and your employer will contribute to the social insurance fund which will cover you for sick leave, maternity leave, work-related accidents, occupational disease and pensions.
The sick leave allowance paid per year is dependent on how long you have contributed to social insurance:
- 30 days allowance (up to 15 years contribution)
- 40 days allowance (between 15 and 30 years contribution)
- 60 days allowance (over 30 years)
A female employee is allowed 4 months maternity leave in standard working conditions. If however the work is heavy or hazardous, 6 months is allowed. During the period of maternity, the employee will receive a maternity allowance.
In the case of a work-related accident the employee will be paid their full salary and any treatment expenses. The employee will also be due a monthly payment from social insurance.
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