The Vietnamese labour market

people working

The Vietnamese labour market is not always particularly open to foreigners; however, it is possible for an expatriate to find a job there. Here is some general information on the job opportunity climate across the country.

In some industries, the Vietnamese labour market is not very open to foreigners, unless these are directly approached by international or multinational companies located in the country. In others, however, foreign skills are preferred.

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.

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, you must produce your full resume along with a cover letter and a passport-sized photo. You typically are also required to submit a copy of your criminal record, a medical certificate issued in your country of origin, as well as copies of your diplomas and other certificates proving your qualifications and skills. All of this must be notarized at your embassy.

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 the relevant experience. Other sectors for job opportunities include hospitality, catering, agriculture, and financial services.

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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. Apollo English and the British International Schools are among some of the most firmly established brands.

Working conditions in Vietnam

By law, the workweek in Vietnam amounts to 48 hours over five and a half days. 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.

Types of contracts in Vietnam

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

Labour law in Vietnam recognizes three types of contractual work: permanent, fixed-term, and seasonal. A seasonal contract has a duration of less than 12 months. It typically refers to jobs available during a specific time period. A permanent contract has a duration varying between 12 and 36 months (depending on the validity of your work permit), according to an agreement between the employee and the employer.

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