Effective from the 1st May 2013, a new Labour Code – No. 10/2012/QH13 – has been brought into force in Vietnam.
Change to Work Permit validity
The main change introduced by the new Code is to the maximum length of a Vietnamese work permit. While the previous Code allowed a work permit to be issued for a maximum term of three years, the new rules limit that term to a maximum of two years.
Decree on the management of foreign national employees
An additional decree on the management of foreign national employees in Vietnam is currently being drafted, but is expect to be implemented soon.
We have summarised the various items which the new decree is expected to deal with as follows:
Work Permit Exemptions
- At present, several categories of foreign workers are exempt from the need for work permits.
- Examples of these exemptions include; foreign workers entering Vietnam to work for a period of less than three months, foreign workers who are members of limited liability companies with two or more members and foreign workers who are owners of one-member limited liability companies.
- However, obtaining approval for a work permit application exemption is an extremely complex affair and the documents required to obtain an exemption are much the same as the documents needed to apply for a work permit.
- The new Code intends to provide clearer guidance, to resolve the issues faced by companies attempting to obtain these exemptions and to introduce new exemptions.
Removal of Apprenticeship Contract
- Since July 2011, work permit extension applications could only be granted if proof was provided with the application that training of a local Vietnamese worker was being carried out to ultimately take over from the foreign national. It is expected that the new decree will remove this requirement.
Local Labour Market Search
- The requirement for companies who wish to hire foreign nationals to advertise the role in question within the local labour market is also anticipated to be made more flexible, either by removing it or by making the advertising criteria less strict.
Work Permit Renewals
- At the present time an extension for a Work Permit must be submitted no earlier than 15 days prior to expiry of the current permit, but no later than 5 days before expiry. It is expected that the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs will make some changes to this process to address the administrative issues caused by this narrow window.