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Regulations on right to take leave of employees in Vietnam

When working, taking leaves weekly, monthly, or annually is the right of every employee. However, in the working environment, the employee will first be surprised that taking monthly leaves or annual leaves is not as simple as they imagine. So, what are the regulations on right to take leave of employees in Vietnam?

In the working space, there will be countless situations in which the employees are denied their requests for unexpected leaves. 

Mostly, the reason is that the company is in a special period to develop that leaving at this moment, even for just one day, will damage the company’s progress. 

In those situations, the employer will ask the employees to withhold their leaves until the company is more stable.

The leaves will be withheld, usually stacked together so that the employees can take many days at once. 

However, as we have known already, the company is rarely lax. If that happens, then the company is already on the brink of collapse. 

For workers at the factory, to take leave is easier than a manager or employees with special skills as they are hard to replace. 

This is true for businesses with 1,000 employees and even more prominent with businesses with just 10 employees. 

Refusing employees to leave is against the law

According to regulations, depending on working conditions, employees will be entitled to annual leave from 12-16 days. However, many workers are not allowed enough leave, even working on public holidays and Lunar New Year holidays.

Article 113 of the Labor Code 2019 stipulates that an employee who has worked for 12 months for an employer is entitled to annual leave with full salary according to the labor contract.

The number of days off includes 12 working days for those who work under normal conditions; 14 working days for minor employees, disabled workers, and employees doing heavy, hazardous and dangerous jobs; 16 working days for people doing particularly heavy, hazardous, and dangerous jobs.

In addition, according to Article 114 of the Labor Code, an employee is also entitled to an additional 1 day off a year if he/she has worked for 5 years for an employer.

Article 113 of the Labor Code 2019 also clearly stipulates: The employer is responsible for determining the annual leave schedule after consulting with the employee and must notify the employee in advance. An employee can agree with the employer to take annual leave in instalments or take a combined leave of up to 3 years at a time.

Therefore, the employer when stipulating the annual leave schedule is required to consult the employee. Based on the annual leave schedule announced by the employer, the employee will arrange work to take advantage of his/her right to leave.

Accordingly, annual leave is an employee’s right. In case employees are not allowed to take annual leave as prescribed, the employer will be fined from 10 to 20 million VND for administrative violations, according to Clause 2, Article 17 of Decree 12/2022/ND-CP.

However, in reality, the employee’s request for leaves is normally refused and the employer has the right to do so. This is because as mentioned before, the company is on a special period to develop, whether the period lasts for how long is not of the employee’s control. 

For important employees, this is especially true as they rarely get the full 12 days off a year. 

If the employee insists on taking leave, the employer will have to agree as they can’t force the employee to go to work. However, this action will have consequences in real life and it will depend on the personality of the employer. 

In conclusion, if the employee does have to take leave, it should be for important reasons, not just a normal cold or other minor reasons like his/her stomach hurts. Furthermore, it’s crucial that the employee explained the reason for leaving in detail to the employer so that there is no miscommunication or resentment between the 2 parties. 

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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