According to the current laws of Vietnam, employees have a period of 3 months after resigning from their jobs to submit applications for unemployment benefits. However, due to various reasons, many employees are unable to submit the required documents within this timeframe. Recognizing this drawback, several representative groups of employees have proposed to extend the deadline for submitting unemployment benefit applications in Vietnam from 3 months to 12 months.
Article 49 of the 2013 Labor Code specifies the conditions that employees must meet to be eligible for unemployment benefits, which include:
- Terminating their labor contract or work contract (except in cases of unilateral contract termination contrary to the law, receiving pensions, or monthly disability benefits).
- Having paid unemployment insurance for at least 12 months within the 24 months prior to terminating the labor contract.
- Submitting the application for unemployment benefits to the employment service center within a 3-month deadline from the date of contract termination.
- Being unable to find employment within 15 days from the date of submitting the application to the employment service center (except for cases involving military service, police service, temporary detention, emigration for settlement, death, etc.).
Difficulties with the current 3-month deadline for submitting unemployment benefit applications
In today’s job market, many Vietnamese employees lose their jobs but are unable to receive unemployment benefits due to the requirement to register within three months of their last working day. The inability to access unemployment benefits during their most challenging times is a significant blow to the economy and the livelihoods of employees.
If it is determined that this 3-month requirement poses difficulties in accessing employee benefits, the relevant authorities should consider amending this deadline, as it is an ineffective provision when applied. Regulations that affect employees’ rights will somewhat reduce employees’ motivation to participate actively in the social insurance fund.
Currently, the unemployment insurance fund has a large surplus, reaching nearly 90 trillion VND at times. Therefore, the issue of preserving the fund is less important than creating conditions to attract employees to actively participate in the fund.
If the time restriction of 3 months is removed or extended to 12 months, employees will be more confident in seeking new employment, and they will only go through the procedure to access the support fund when they genuinely face difficulties, thereby achieving the goal of preserving the fund and only having an impact in urgent situations.
In cases where employees genuinely need support, they will not need to seek new jobs, contribute to social insurance for one month, and then resign to receive unemployment benefits. This practice has been carried out multiple times and has caused instability in the job market, affecting business operations.
From a different perspective, when employees face financial difficulties and prolonged unemployment during the Covid-19 pandemic, they are unable to access unemployment benefits and may choose to withdraw from the social insurance system altogether through the lump sum social insurance system.
Based on Article 50 of the 2013 Labor Code, the monthly unemployment benefit payment for employees is calculated using the following formula: Monthly benefit = 60% x Average monthly social insurance contribution for the last 6 consecutive months prior to unemployment.