Question 67: In case of recruiting Employees who have undergone vocational training to perform jobs that do not require vocational training, is the minimum salary paid to such Employees is required to be 7% higher than the area minimum wage?

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Pursuant to labour law, the lowest salary of a job or title requiring traineeship (including enterprise-trained Employees) must be at least 7% higher than the area minimum wage as regulated by the Government[1]. In particular, the Employees who have undergone vocational training or education include[2]:

  • Persons who have been granted a vocational certificate, vocational diploma, professional secondary school diploma, vocational secondary school diploma, college diploma, pre-university certificate, university degree, bachelor’s degree, postgraduate degree or master’s degree, doctorate prescribed in Decree 90/CP dated November 24, 1993 by the Government defining the framework of the national education system, the system of diplomas and certificates of education and training;
  • Persons who have been granted a graduation diploma of professional secondary school, vocational training, college, university, master’s degree, doctorate; diplomas and certificates of professional education; higher education diplomas and diplomas and certificates of regular education pursuant to the Education Law;
  • Persons who have been granted certificates under regular vocational training programs, primary vocational certificate, intermediate vocational training diploma, vocational college diploma or have completed vocational training program under the vocational training contract stipulated by the Law on Vocational Training;
  • Persons who have been granted national vocational skill certificates in accordance with the Employment Law; who have been granted diplomas and certificates for primary, secondary and college vocational education/training qualifications; regular training and other vocational training programs in accordance with the Law on Vocational Education;
  • Persons who have been awarded a graduation diploma of higher education in accordance with the Law on Higher Education;
  • Persons who have been granted diplomas and certificates of foreign training institutions; and
  • Persons who have been trained by the enterprise or self-taught and inspected by the enterprise and arranged by the enterprise to perform work requiring vocational training.

In this case, Employers and Employees must sign vocational training contracts[3]. In addition, it should be noted that any Employer’s job guidance for Employees during the probation period is characterised as indicative of a particular job for Employees to familiarise themselves with the job, comply with the proper procedures and specifications of the job at the Employer’s request to ensure consistency, efficiency and working principles of the business. In fact, even after the probation period, Employers still have to guide Employees when necessary. Therefore, any probation will not be considered a form of vocational training by an enterprise for Employees in accordance with the law.

On the other hand, the current law has not yet covered any specific regulations on the sectors, occupations and jobs that require the use of trained Employees. Therefore, in principle, Employers, when recruiting Employees who have undergone vocational training, must always ensure that the lowest salary for Employees is at least 7% higher than the area minimum wage regulated by the Government, regardless of whatever position or job such Employees are recruited for.

However, it can be seen that the recruitment of an Employee who has been trained to do simple jobs without requiring qualification will be totally unreasonable from an economic point of view because the costs for the use of trained Employees, including salaries and wages, will be higher than those of Employees without vocational training. Therefore, before recruitment, enterprises often evaluate and determine the intended positions and jobs to decide to whether or not employ Employees who have vocational training. Accordingly, recruiting information in enterprises usually states the requirements on the level of Employees (intermediate level, college or university) as a required condition for applying for. Where it is necessary to recruit Employees who have undergone vocational training to work for intended positions and jobs, Employers will pay Employees the lowest salary that is at least 7% higher than the area minimum wage set forth by the Government.

[1]Article 7.3 (b) Decree 49/2013/NĐ-CP dated 14/05/2013

[2]Article 5.2 Decree 141/2017/NĐ-CP dated 07/12/2017

[3]Article 61.1 Labor Code