The labor market in Vietnam

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Updated 2023-11-19 12:56

Depending on your industry and patience, finding a job in Vietnam can be a challenge. Many companies and local businesses are encouraged by the Vietnamese government to recruit local citizens. To be able to recruit foreign professionals, companies must prove that the skills required for these specific jobs are not available locally. Foreign companies can only recruit 3% of foreign employees in accordance with legal provisions. Here is some general information on the Vietnamese labor market in 2023.

Good to know:

To be able to work in Vietnam as a foreigner, it is expected that you will have a good command of English and at least some knowledge of conversational Vietnamese.

Applying for a job in Vietnam

When you apply for a job in Vietnam, you must produce a resume, police check, a medical certificate issued in your country of origin or Vietnam, as well as copies of your diplomas and other certificates proving your qualifications and skills. All of this must be notarized at your embassy and translated into Vietnamese.

Sectors with potential in Vietnam

Over the past few years, many companies specializing in different sectors, namely agro-industry, distribution, services, health, and information and communication technology, have been set up in Vietnam. You will stand a relatively higher chance of being recruited in these specialized areas, especially if you have been trained in the field and/or have relevant experience. Other sectors for job opportunities include catering and financial services.

The availability of positions does differ for different fields across the country. The one ubiquitous field is education, particularly teaching English, which is in very high demand almost everywhere. Options for teaching range from private tutoring to working at language centers like ILA or private international schools like British International Schools. Do a thorough background search on the company and schools you are applying to before signing a contract.

Working conditions in Vietnam

By law, you are required to work up to 48 hours in Vietnam. You are allowed to perform extra hours for which you will be entitled to additional remuneration. Those working at night are paid 30% extra. You are allowed to carry up to a maximum of 200 overtime hours per year.

You will be entitled to a minimum of 12 days paid leave per year and 9 public holidays. If you are curious about parental or any other kind of time off, you are encouraged to ask during the interview or make an appointment with your HR department after accepting the job offer. Vietnamese citizens adhere to paternity leave for fathers of 5-14 days, and for Vietnamese mothers, six months of maternal leave is available to start before the birth.

This doesn't mean you will be working all of the above hours. Teachers, for example, may be contracted out to different schools and centers across multiple districts. This can bring in a different level of excitement as you get to travel across the city during your working hours. On average, a standard work day is 8 am-5 pm with a lunch break. Depending if you work for a language center or an international school, you may be required to do evening shifts or a little overtime over weekends. If possible, try to talk to current or past employees to get a clear picture of expectations and management.

Types of work contracts in Vietnam

Employment contracts in Vietnam generally state the employee's salary, the place of work and working hours, professional duties to be carried out, and social insurance.

Labor law in Vietnam recognizes three types of contractual work:

  1. Permanent employment contracts: An indefinite-term labor contract in which the employee must pass a successful probation period that ranges from 1- 3 months.
  2. Fixed-term employment contracts: On average, they last 12 to 36 months, and the employee may not have a renewed contract or work permit authorization after.
  3. Seasonal employment contracts: On average, they are less than 12 months and refer to specific jobs available at certain times of the year.

Useful link:

An overview of Vietnam Labor Law

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