Vietnam increases overtime cap from April 1, 2022

Vietnam National Assembly Standing Committee has just promulgated resolution No. 17/2022/UBTVQH15 on increasing the employee overtime cap for socioeconomic recovery from Covid-19 pandemic (the “Resolution”). The Resolution takes effect from April 1, 2022.

According to the Resolution, the employee overtime cap has been increased from 40 hours to 60 hours per month; and from 200 hours to 300 hours per year, not subject to certain business sectors as provided in the previous regulations. Still, the increase of overtime cap shall not be applied to workers aged under 18, workers with disabilities, those whose nature of the job is dangerous and toxic, pregnant women at six or seven months or more (depending on their locations), and female employees nurturing children aged below 12 months.

Following a basic principle of the Labor Code, the Resolution also emphasizes that the overtime is only conducted if the employees agree to do so. Besides, the employers take responsibility for applying measures to improve labor productivity and other measures to reduce overtime work. In the case of implementing overtime, the employer shall implement welfare regimes to ensure that the employees have more favorable benefits than prescribed by the labor regulations. Besides, the employers must submit their overtime report, in writing, to the specialized labor agency under the provincial People’s Committee where the company’s headquarters or workplace of overtime is located.

The Government, Ministry of Labor – Invalids and Social Affairs and other relevant local authorities will organize and oversee the implementation of the Resolution. The General Confederation of Labor is responsible for guiding all-level labor federations to monitor the implementation to ensure employees’ rights.

It can be seen that the new regulations were aimed at responding to most of the enterprise’s demand of increasing shifts to meet orders due to the high number of Covid-infected employees in Vietnam. While COVID-19 infections are decreasing in Vietnam and the pandemic is gradually under control, the new regulations draw up a chance to recover and accelerate enterprises’ business. Nevertheless, to ensure legal compliance, the employers should collect employees’ consent of working overtime in writing to be prioritized before organizing overtime. Employers should also pay attention to maintaining employees’ health status via suitable measures.

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