Labor contracts for people who have jobs in Vietnam must be entered into in accordance with the standard form issued by the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs. Contracts can take one of three forms: indefinite term, definite term and contracts for specific or seasonal jobs. They should give a job description, specify the work place, wage/salary, duration of contract and probation period and address matters such as social insurance and labor protection.
Enterprises may not hire workers under 15 years old; they may hire workers younger than 18 years of age but as junior workers and in certain occupations only. Persons under 15 years of age may only be hired to work in a number of trades permitted by the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs. When hiring a worker younger than 15 years of age, an enterprise must obtain the permission of the parents and in the case of workers younger than 18 years of age, follow a slightly reduced schedule of work hours.
The general manager of any foreign invested enterprise must also sign a collective labor agreement with the workers no later than six months after commencement of operations. Along with other issues agreed to between management and the workers, this collective agreement must include items such as the salary for each type of occupation, working conditions, labor protection, collective welfare and social insurance. The agreement is valid for a minimum of one year and a maximum of three years.
By law, workers’ contracts may be terminated in cases of failure to carry out their tasks, breach of discipline (for example, absence from work for five days a month or 20 days a year without valid reasons) or other misconduct, or serious injury or illness. Companies may also dismiss employees because of financial problems at the company or the addition of technology that makes workers’ jobs obsolete.
The length of notice for termination is specified in the individual labor contract. The minimum length is 30 days for definite labor contracts, 45 days for indefinite labor contracts and 3 days for project-based or seasonal contracts. A dismissed worker may appeal to the local labor agency for reinstatement. A retrenchment allowance must be paid.
The employee should consider and read all the terms of the employment contract carefully to protect their benefits, as well as understand all obligations during working period.
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