Vietnam Issues New Decrees to Guide Labor Code

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June 6 – The Vietnamese government recently issued the following new decrees to help guide its Labor Code:

  • Decree No. 41/2013/ND-CP providing the list of sectors where strikes are prohibited;
  • Decree No. 44/2013/ND-CP on labor contracts;
  • Decree No. 45/2013/ND-CP on working hours;
  • Decree No. 46/2013/ND-CP on labor conciliators; and
  • Decree No. 49/2013/ND-CP on wage scales and payroll.
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Decree 41
Labor strikes are to be prohibited in the following sectors:

  • Production and transmission;
  • Exploration and exploitation of oil and gas, and the supply and production of gas;
  • Maritime and aviation safety;
  • Telecommunications infrastructure and postal services;
  • Water supply; and
  • Sectors serving national security.

Decree 44
If an employee enters into a labor contract with more than one employer, then the first labor contract that the employee signed will be used for the payment of compulsory social insurance and, if applicable, unemployment insurance. Furthermore, the labor contract with the highest salary will be used to pay for the employee’s compulsory health insurance contributions. The employers listed in any other labor contracts must pay the equivalent of the compulsory insurance contributions to the employee in addition the employee’s normal salary.

Decree 45
The maximum allowable overtime will remain at 200 hours per year, however an employer may request that an employee work up to 300 hours of overtime per year if the employer notifies the relevant provincial labor authority in advance. This is allowed if the company requires extra work to be done in the following circumstances:

  • The manufacturing and processing of textiles, leather and shoe products;
  • The processing of agricultural, forest and aquatic products;
  • The manufacturing and supply of electricity, telecommunications, oil filters and water drainage services; and
  • Other cases of urgent work that cannot be delayed.

Decree 46
Labor conciliators must be Vietnamese citizens who are healthy, have full civil act capacity and ethical quality, and are not serving prison sentences or are under investigation for criminal liabilities. Furthermore, they should have a thorough knowledge of the relevant laws in addition to three years of experience in a related field.

Decree 49
Enterprises may decide on their own wage scale and payroll for managerial staff members, professional or technical employees, and workers that are directly involved in production, business or service activities. The lowest wage level of the simplest work, however, cannot be lower than the region-based minimum wage level. Furthermore, the lowest wage level for laborers who have received vocational training must be at least 7 percent higher than the region-based minimum wage level.

The aforementioned decrees will come into effect starting July 1, 2013, except for Decree 41 which will come into effect on June 23, 2013.

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