Legal Update
According to the current Labor Code, enterprises are entilted to determine the number of working hours in a day or a
week, and it could not exceed 8 hours per day, 48 hours per week. In addtion, enterprises are able to make agreement
on working overtime for not over 50% of normal working hours per day, 16 hours per week and 200 hours per month.
With the provisions in new Labor Code, enterprises has the right to determine number of working hours per day
or per week, similar to the provision in current Labor Code. However, if enterprises are willing to prescribe working
hours per week, enterprise would not be allowed to regulate the normal working hour over 10 hours per day. Moreo-
ver, the number of normal working hours and the overtime hours cannot exceed 12 hours per day, overtime hours
cannot exceed 30 hours per month and total hours cannot be over 200 hours per year.
Comparing the two above provisions, enterprises, according the new regulation, may have to reduce the working
hours per day if they stipulate working hours for a week or overtime hour for a month. In practices, some enterprises
operating in seasonal industries have the focused time of production only in a few months in a year. Instead of be-
ing able to request laborers to work overtime for 56 hours per month (14 hours per week), now enterprises are only
entitled to request laborers to work overtime for not over 30 hous per month. It can lead to the stagnation of business
activities for manufacturing enterprises that always have to use overtime working hours of laborers to keep up the
production of goods, or it can impede the operation of seasonal enterprises.
Besides the decrease of overtime hours as mentioned above, new Labor Code allows laborers to have a longer tra-
ditional Tet holiday of 5 days (currently 4 days according to the applicable Labor Code) and the foreigner workers
working in Vietnam, besides the holiday stated in current Labor Code applying for Vietnamese labors, will also be
entitled to leave on their traditional vacations and Independent day. It can bring difficuties similar to the problems
above to enterprises.
The new provisions forces enterprises to carry out a lot of administration procedures and incur the cost of adjustment
for internal labor regulations, Collective Labor agreements and even labor contracts signed with laborers as well as
other labor regulations when the new Labor Code is effective.
In our opinion, a new law should be promulgated based on the harmony in benefit of both two subjects, laborers and
employers, to avoid the “overprotection” for the laborer as well as to reduce the practice that employers may dodge
the law to exploit the laborers. With the new provisions above, the new Labor Code inclines to protect the rights and
benefits of laborers more than employers.
The article written by lawyer Duong Tieng Thu - Senior Associate and lawyer Nguyen Phuong Thao from
Phuoc & Partners
(Source: Phuoc&Partners)
Enterprises need to amend internal labor regulations and other documents?
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