Jurisdiction - Vietnam
Reports and Analysis
Vietnam – Amendments To Labour Code.

9 May, 2013



Amendments to the Labour Code (the Code), which will take effect on 1 May 2013, provide increased protection for employees, whilst simultaneously extending employer’s rights in respect of technological or business secrets and retrenchment. The changes also implement a number of new concepts to Vietnamese labour law such as outsourcing.

The most significant changes to the Code include:

  • Probationary Periods
    The permitted probationary period duration will be determined by reference to the level of professional qualification required to carry out the work.
    The minimum wage applicable during the probationary period will increased to 85% of the employee’s post probationary period wage entitlement.
  • Technology or business secrets
    Recognition of the employer’s right to a written confidentiality agreement with employees who are directly involved in business or technological secrets.
  • Retrenching employees
    The introduction of a new ground of redundancy on the basis of ‘economic reasons’.
    Retrenched employees who have worked for more than a year will be entitled to one month’s salary for each year of employment. It will be the former employer’s responsibility to pay retrenchment allowances.
  • Discrimination
    Sexual harassment will become a ground for an employee to unilaterally terminate a definite term labour contract.
  • Outsourcing 
    The introduction of provisions recognising the legal basis for outsourcing,  in circumstances where the outsourcing arrangement does not exceed 12 months and the outsourced employee receives an equivalent salary.
  • Termination of contract
    An employer will no longer be required to obtain consent from the executive committee of the trade union and to report to local labour authorities prior to unilaterally terminating an employee’s labour contract, except where the employees are trade union officers.
  • Maternity leave entitlement
    The maternity leave entitlement will increase to 6 months

Action for employers

Employers should familiarise themselves with the changes to the Code ahead of 1 May 2013 and should implement changes to contracts, policies and practices as necessary. 


herbert smith Freehills


For further information, please contact:


Celia Yuen, Herbert Smith Freehills

[email protected]


Jessiva Brivik, Herbert Smith Freehills

[email protected]




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