Currently, the Labor Code and the guiding documents do not have specific regulations as to whether the probationary salary paid to Employees may be lower than the area minimum wage. The Labor Code only stipulates that the probationary salary is agreed upon by the two parties but must be at least equal to 85% of the salary of the job.
On the other hand, Article 5.1 of Decree 141/2017/ND-CP regulates the area minimum wage as follows:
“1. The area minimum wage prescribed in Article 3 of this Decree is the lowest level that serves as a basis for enterprises and Employees to reach any agreement and pay wages, in which the wage is paid to Employees working in normal working conditions provided that they ensure enough monthly working time and complete the agreed labour norms or jobs. The area minimum wage must make sure:
a) Not to be lower than the area minimum wage for Employees doing the simplest jobs;
b) At least 7% higher than the area minimum wage for Employees doing the jobs requiring vocational training and education under Clause 2 of this Article.”
Pursuant to this provision, it can be understood that the area minimum wage is the lowest wage promulgated by the Government for the purpose of ensuring the minimum and basic life of Employees that do the simplest jobs. Therefore, Employees’ probationary salary can be at least 85% of the salary of their job, but not lower than the area minimum wage as prescribed above.