Proposal to increase the limit of overtime working hours to 72 hours/months in Vietnam, Proposal to increase the limit of overtime working hours in Vietnam, increase the limit of overtime working hours in Vietnam, The increase in overtime working hours needs to be considered based on each industry's circumstance,

Proposal to increase the limit of overtime working hours to 72 hours/months in Vietnam

As the economy of Vietnam slowly recovers after the drastic and prolonged Covid-19 impacts, there has been a proposal to increase the limit of overtime working hours to 72 hours/months in Vietnam, among other proposals that aim to recover the economy. However, would the proposal be passed through? What are the impacts on the employee’s welfare if such a regulation is established?

Although this is to facilitate the recovery of the economy, however, in many experts’ opinions, the sudden increase is basically too high. 

This is because currently, the limit of overtime working hours is just 40 hours/month. Changing from this number to 72 hours/month means an increase of 180% compared to the provisions of the Labor Code 2019. In comparison to the Labor Code 2012, the 72 hours/month mark is an increase of 240%. 

In addition, there is a proposal that the overtime hours worked in a year of the employee is not more than 300 hours and this change will be applied for all industries, professions, and jobs (currently, there are only a few specific business lines that get this 300 hours/year limit).

Some business associations such as the Japan Business Association, Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers, etc. have proposed to increase the limit of overtime from 300 hours to 400 hours/year. 

However, this proposal needs to be carefully examined as the increase of overtime to more than 300 hours/year is a very important issue, directly related to employee health, occupational safety, efficiency, quality of human resources and especially, this is a problem that still has many different opinions. 

Therefore, this proposal to increase the limit of overtime hours will continue to be researched and synthesized during the evaluation of the implementation of the 2019 Labor Code.

The increase in overtime working hours needs to be considered based on each industry’s circumstance

Many experts found that the application of the limit of 300 hours/year for all industries, occupations, and jobs is too broad. 

In order to ensure occupational health and safety for employees, the Standing Committee of Social Affairs proposed the drafting agency to review the subjects and review other industries, professions, jobs, and cases where the increased limit on overtime working hours will affect health, not meet working requirements, etc. to stipulate the fields that can’t apply the limit of 300 overtime hours in a year.

Proposal to increase the limit of overtime working hours to 72 hours/months in Vietnam
Proposal to increase the limit of overtime working hours to 72 hours/months in Vietnam

At the same time, the majority of comments from the Standing Committee also agreed that the change from 40 hours/month limitation to no more than 72 hours/month without sufficient scientific basis is inapplicable.

The increase in working hours will greatly affect the health and safety of employees, affect the time to take care of children and families, especially in the context of the epidemic. If the proposal is passed through, employees will not have enough time to rest, restore health and regenerate their working capacity.

Therefore, the Standing Committee of the Social Affairs Committee proposes to raise the limit of overtime per month to 150%, respectively from 40 hours to 60 hours, and only applicable to subjects whose overtime limit has been set at 300 hours in a year.

Regarding the application period, the Standing Committee of Social Affairs suggested that the Government should study and regulate the number of consecutive months where the maximum limit could be applied (2 or 3 months).

ASL LAW is the top-tier Vietnam law firm for Employment and Labor Law. If you need any advice, please contact us for further information or collaboration.

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